Some famous paleontologists and anthropologists like Mark Goodwin, Donald Johanson, John Kappelman, and Anne Molineux of the Texas Memorial Museum, have helped Scott Solomon answer the question, “Do We Need the Original Lucy Fossil?”
I don’t wanna steal thunder from the post… but with all this drama ensuing over Lucy’s trip out here, I haven’t heard anyone ask,
“Given that many museums around the world have nearly identical plaster casts of Lucy, how important is the original fossil?”
That is of course until Scott decided too.
He goes onto explain out the actual fossils are useful for more indepth analysis, like computed tomography, a method used to analyze the Chororapithecus abyssinicus fossils. If you want a really basic run down on the importance of having actual fossil remains, then jump on over and read his article in Slate.