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Te Papa To Celebrate 10 Years At ‘Our Place'

14 January 2008

MEDIA RELEASE

Te Papa Prepares To Celebrate 10 Years At ‘Our Place’

2008 marks ten years since the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa opened it doors to New Zealand and the world. Over 13.7 million visitors have visited Te Papa since 14 February 1998, an average of 1.2 million visitors per year, making it the most visited museum in Australasia.

‘Te Papa is a museum of international standing, both as a creator and venue of world-class exhibitions, such as The Lord of the Rings exhibition and the popular Constable exhibition of recent times’, said Dr Seddon Bennington, Te Papa’s Chief Executive.

‘We are a bicultural institution – a museum, an art gallery, an award-winning book publisher and an important scientific research institute. The diversity can be challenging but it’s a creative challenge that inspires us to seek new, stimulating and surprising ways to engage our visitors,’ Dr Bennington said.

The year-long party will begin on Saturday 16 February with the museum being open from 10am -10pm and hosting events and activities for all. Performances include the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra with the Gareth Farr composition 'Te Papa Suite' (originally commissioned for opening in 1998), the Wellington Ukelele Orchestra, Legacy Dance Crew, a special concert by Julia Deans (ex-Fur Patrol) and a range of cultural performance groups from across New Zealand. The day will finish with the lavish Queens of the Whole Universe drag pageant, followed by a festive fireworks display over the harbour at 10.10pm.

After the popular and topical Whales Tohorä exhibition closes in May to tour North American institutions, the TOWER Gallery will host Rita Angus: Life & Vision, the most comprehensive retrospective to date with over 200 artworks and ephemera. This will be followed in November by a major Mäori taonga (treasures) exhibition drawn from the successful Mauri Ora exhibition that showed in Japan last year and enhanced with the best of contemporary Mäori art.

‘Te Papa Press will be publishing Jill Trevelyan’s biography of Rita Angus in April and a comprehensive catalogue to accompany the exhibition in July. Art at Te Papa, a major new book about Te Papa’s art collection, will be published in October,’ said Dr Bennington.

An exciting, new experience in The TimeWarp zone on Level 2 will open in August and will utilise the latest interactive media technologies.

The birthday year will also feature an enhanced events programme as well as regular annual events such as the Treaty Debate series (31January and 7 February) and the Matariki Festival at Te Papa (7 - 29 June). The museum will host acts as part of the International Arts Festival (21 February - 16 March) and is also a venue for the Wellington Film Festival (18 July - 3 August).

ENDS

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