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Exhibition a Chance to Reflect on Scottish Heritage

Dunedin (Wednesday, 15 January 2014) – Are we still a Scottish city?

DUNedinburgh, an upcoming exhibition at Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, provides a chance to reflect on the city’s Scottish heritage and ask ourselves to what extent we are still the Edinburgh of the South.

Curator Seán Brosnahan says, “Dunedin is such a Scottish place in so many ways, but it’s also a modern New Zealand city. How those two things relate is really what this exhibition is exploring.

“We hope that all those people with Scottish ancestry – and that is a large proportion of the city’s population – will come and develop their own answers to the question of Dunedin’s enduring Scottishness. Are bagpipes and tartan just something we play up for the tourists or do people here still value their Caledonian heritage?”

The exhibition, located in the Temporary Exhibitions Gallery, opens on Friday, 24 January and runs until Sunday, 13 July. Admission is free.

Exhibition highlights include:

• Colours of the New Zealand Scottish Regiment: symbolising the honour of our uniquely Scottish military unit and rarely displayed outside army premises.

• Caledonian Stone Chair: Dunedin’s own stone of destiny, carved from a huge block of Waikawa granite and inscribed with Gaelic inscriptions referencing Scotland’s coronation stone.

• Original weavings of the Dunedin and Otago tartans: distilling our Scottish heritage in thread and creating a tartan pattern that symbolises our history and shared identity.

• Presbyterian treasures from the National Museum of Scotland: reminders of the religious passions that led to the establishment of Dunedin as a Presbyterian settlement.

• The Edinburgh Reliquary: a symbol of Dunedin’s special relationship with Edinburgh, presented to the City as a gift on its centennial in 1948.

Continuing the Scottish theme, Toitū is hosting the Burns Night Dinner on Saturday, 25 January as a special celebration of poet Robert Burns’ birthday. The event has been organised in conjunction with the Burns Club as part of Scottish Dunedin celebrations that weekend.

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