He gave up bank job to hunt for fossil exhibits

He gave up bank job to hunt for fossil exhibits

SINGAPORE - Bank executive Cliff Hartono quit his cushy job with Credit Suisse in London last year to scour the world for fossils.

Now his haul - ranging from a marine reptile from the early Jurassic age to a palm fossil found in the Green River Formation of Wyoming - is being exhibited at a gallery in Tanjong Pagar. It is believed to be the only standalone fossil gallery in Asia.

German-born Mr Hartono, who grew up in Singapore and returned to live here after working overseas, has been a dinosaur and fossil fan since his childhood.

He encountered his first when his businessman father brought home a fossil of an extinct marine animal when he was aged five.

"It was mind-blowing to know that it's 360 million years old. I kept it next to me, near my pillow, for some time," said the 28-year-old.

He went on to scour neighbouring gardens, forests and beaches using plastic spades and shovels.

"Of course I didn't find anything. But its every digger's dream to find a dinosaur fossil," said Mr Hartono.

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