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Awakening interest in Barbadoes Street Cemetery

MEDIA RELEASE 18 December 2008

Exhibition awakens interest in Barbadoes Street Cemetery

The many reasons why Christchurch people feel a sense of connection to Barbadoes Street Cemetery are explored in the exhibition Awakening – Barbadoes Street Cemetery: its care, its future, our memories.

The exhibition considers the challenges and issues surrounding the city’s first cemetery and the contribution of local people in the community to its care.

Perspectives from heritage professionals help contextualise present day care of cemeteries in New Zealand and globally, while creative display elements encourage visitors to reflect on burial and mourning practices in the early days of colonial settlement in Christchurch.

Our City O-Tautahi Business Manager Sarah Kelly said that visitors to the exhibition would find plenty of material that would enrich their next visit to the cemetery.

“The exhibition will help people find clues from the past in the cemetery such as what is likely to be original planted species, and importantly, why that species was planted. It will also help deepen their understanding of what we can learn about both the notables buried in this cemetery, but also the ordinary dead, from elements such as symbols on the tombstones, or which part of the cemetery a person has been buried in.

“We’re also encouraging people to fill out response forms on why the cemetery is special to them so we can share their thoughts as part of the exhibition.”

The exhibition will be open until 4 February 2009. Displays are open 10am – 4pm, Monday to Saturday at Our City O-Tautahi, corner Oxford Terrace and Worcester Boulevard. Admission is free.

The exhibition is being held to highlight and support a conservation plan for Barbadoes Street Cemetery currently being developed by the Christchurch City Council. The draft conservation plan will be made available for public consultation in early 2009.


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