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Museum Sale Draws International Interest

Yaldhurst Museum of Transport and Science

Press Release

Museum Sale Draws International Interest

Will the Yaldhurst Museum be saved or lost to overseas interests? Trustees for the estate of the late Mr Jake Cooper ponder the possibilities as the closing date for tenders (23 November 2001) draws near. Since the death of Mr Cooper in March 2000 trustees have explored all avenues that would allow the Museum to continue and prevent this significant collection of historic and cultural importance, from being split up and lost to New Zealand.

Mr Cooper began collecting in the 1950s and opened the Yaldhurst Museum of Transport and Science on Boxing Day 1968. The Museum is situated just 15 minutes from the city centre, and close to Christchurch International Airport. Set in the grounds of the 8 acre family property on which Mr Coopers Great Grandfather built the original homestead in 1876. This historic house is still standing.

The Museum houses an amazing collection of well over 3000 items, many of which are rare and unique in New Zealand - treasures such as the horse-drawn hearse (one of three left in New Zealand) which carried former Prime Minister Richard Seddon, or the 1938 International car coupe, one of only five cars bodied in New Zealand for International. There are collections of vintage and classic cars, fire engines, motorcycles and engines. There are horse-drawn vehicles, racing cars, military items and printing equipment. There are amusement machines, lamps and horns; and the list goes on.

The trustees have contacted Central Government, the Christchurch Mayor's Office, the Community Trust, and others. All approaches have been met with an incredible lack of interest. In the face of such apathy the trustees were left with no alternative but to offer the Museum for sale. The tender process was chosen to provide every opportunity for the collection to remain together. While museums and collectors from around the world have expressed a keen interest, if no satisfactory tenders are received, it is most likely that the collection will go under the hammer at a series of auctions in the early New Year.

Details about the Museum can be viewed on www.yaldhurstmuseum.co.nz

Yours sincerely
Yaldhurst Museum of Transport and Science
Grant Cooper Director

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