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Parihaka exhibition tops 53,000 visitors

"We should learn about this history in schools." "Showing my daughter the history of my people - awesome. [It] told and showed her more than I could have ever told her." "I was overwhelmed by the feelings I got from this exhibition." Comments from the Visitors' Book

The ground-breaking Parihaka exhibition ended on 20 January 2001 with an emotional poroporoaki (closing) ceremony, attended by a large group of people from Taranaki, and others involved in the project. A total of 53,583 people visited the exhibition.

"Parihaka was a timely exhibition that hit a nerve," said Paula Savage, Gallery director. "It moved people emotionally in a way that is unusual for an art exhibition. The story of Parihaka, which was told through artworks, photographs and poetry, has a direct relevance for today. The exhibition allowed people to experience and come to some understanding of issues with which we are grappling."

Negotiations with Parihaka are currently underway for two sections of the exhibition to go to Waiwhetu Marae, Lower Hutt, on 6 February 2001, and to Dunedin Public Art Gallery in June / July 2001.

These sections comprise the specially commissioned new works by 15 New Zealand artists, and the historic photographs of Parihaka - works that have all been gifted to the people of Parihaka. Parihaka leaders are currently looking at plans to accommodate these works permanently at Parihaka. Sales of the newly released Parihaka book and CD (priced at $69.95 and $24.95 respectively) will continue after the closing of the exhibition. A partnership project between City Gallery Wellington and Parihaka Pa Trustees. Generously supported by: New Zealand Millennium Office; The New Zealand Lottery Grants Board; Creative New Zealand Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa; Wellington City Council; Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa; Taranaki Museum. Generously sponsored by: Bell Gully Barristers and Solicitors; Wakatu Incorporation; Tohu Wines; Parininihi Ki Waitotara Incorporation; The Dominion; The Evening Post; Saatchi & Saatchi; City Gallery Wellington Foundation. City Gallery Wellington is managed by the Wellington Museums Trust with major funding from the Wellington City Council. ENDS.

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