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Sir Peter Blake Tribute Exhibition

19 June 2003



A meeting was held yesterday between representatives of Te Papa, the New Zealand National Maritime Museum, Pippa, Lady Blake and Mr Tony Blake, and close family friends Ross Blackman and Don Robertson to discuss the proposed exhibition to celebrate the life and achievements of Sir Peter Blake at the Maritime Museum.

While acknowledging that the design for the display of NZL32 has created much discussion in the news media, all parties expressed enthusiasm for the current interactive exhibition proposal designed to tell the story of Sir Peter's life and to make it accessible to the New Zealand public. They endorsed the inclusion of NZL32 Black Magic and the story around this sporting icon that is so closely associated with Sir Peter and which represents a milestone in his career as well as in New Zealand's yachting history.

It was acknowledged that the public may not been fully aware of the components of the interactive exhibition which is to be the core of the tribute to Sir Peter. With this in mind, a display of the exhibition concept and design of the new wing will be presented shortly at the New Zealand National Maritime Museum for the public to view.

Lady Blake confirmed her original support for the exhibition concept and design, "The proposed exhibition is a wonderful tribute to the life and work of Peter. It is appropriate that NZL32 is a part of the exhibition as it was Peter's wish that it be displayed as a permanent tribute to the nation's success in winning the America's Cup in 1995. The exhibition, I am sure, will attract many visitors, in particular, young people, and will give future generations an understanding of Peter's life which I hope will inspire people of all ages to pursue their own challenges," said Lady Blake.

The concept for the total tribute to Sir Peter will continue to be developed and refined to ensure that it accurately presents Sir Peter's life and contribution to this country as one of its greatest sailors and adventurers. It will explore how his achievements are interwoven with New Zealand's long and illustrious yachting history while also showcasing projects and activities related to Sir Peter's work in promoting the environment in, on and around the waters of the world.

As the concept and design are progressed and refined, consideration will be given to the various views that have been expressed to ensure that the exhibition and the new wing are easily accessible to the residents of Auckland and to visitors to the city. It was acknowledged that the cost of the project was an issue that also needed further refinement.

It was considered that the idea of naming Kaikoura Island after Sir Peter was a wonderful gesture in recognition of Sir Peter's contribution to New Zealand but it would not tell the inspiring story of Sir Peter Blake for school children, families and visitors to Auckland that the exhibition will do, for many years.

Te Papa's Chief Executive, Dr Seddon Bennington, said that the challenge ahead is to refine the concept and raise the necessary funds to complete the project.

"I am reminded of one Sir Peter's famous expressions that 'if it wasn't really hard, it wasn't worth doing!

"The Maritime Museum and Te Papa have a big fundraising target ahead of us. It's an exciting challenge and early indications of support both within New Zealand and from overseas are very positive", said Dr Bennington


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