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Antarctic Heroes Celebrated At Te Papa

25 May 2004

Antarctic Heroes Celebrated At Te Papa

Te Papa celebrates the heroic era of Antarctic exploration with Antarctic Heroes - The race to the South Pole. This exhibition tells the epic stories of three of the Antarctic's greatest heroes - Robert Falcon Scott, Roald Amundsen, and Ernest Shackleton.

Antarctic Heroes asks why these men were so passionate about reaching the South Pole, how their extraordinary feats of endurance and bravery were achieved, and what factors contributed to the triumphs and tragedies that befell them.

One of the major attractions of Antarctic Heroes will be the James Caird - the lifeboat in which Ernest Shackleton, his navigator (New Zealander Frank Worsley), and four other men made one of the greatest small-boat voyages ever. In order to save their marooned crewmates, these brave adventurers sailed 1300 kilometres across the treacherous Southern Ocean. Then Shackleton and two of his men crossed on foot the uncharted mountain ranges of the island South Georgia - a rugged, non-stop 36-hour trek. The James Caird has been specially brought over from England for this exhibition.

Antarctic Heroes will also feature many other items including personal belongings of explorers, scientific equipment including Amundsen's compass, and the Union Jack that Scott carried to the South Pole. Period photographs, film footage, and audio excerpts of polar explorers will also feature.

Frank Hurley's astounding film South, which uses original footage shot on the expedition to tell the incredible story of the Endurance and the James Caird, will also screen in Antarctic Heroes.

The exhibition will be opened by the Honourable Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of Ernest Shackleton. Alexandra Shackleton will appear in a free, public question-and-answer session in Te Papa's Soundings Theatre from 12-1pm on Sunday 30 May.

Antarctic Heroes is based on the exhibition South - the Race to the Pole developed by the National Maritime Museum in London. The exhibition opens on 29 May and runs until 26 October 2004, in The TOWER Gallery, Level 4. Admission charges apply. Free entry for up to two children if accompanied by an adult.


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