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Antarctica on show at NZ IceFest exhibition launch

Friday 29 August 2014

Antarctica on show at NZ IceFest exhibition launch

Residents will have the chance to learn more about the coldest of continents with the opening of three Antarctic exhibitions.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce will officially open the exhibitions tonight at Canterbury Museum, ahead of tomorrow’s public launch. The exhibitions are part of NZ IceFest celebrating New Zealand’s special relationship with Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

Locals and visitors to Christchurch will have the chance to visit:

Ice Lab: New Architecture and Science in Antarctica
Experience five innovative designs for Antarctic research stations from different countries. Commissioned by the British Council, Ice Lab is making its international exhibition debut at this year’s NZ IceFest. Located at Canterbury Museum.

Hallett Station
Encounter the reconstructed former Antarctic science base for the United States and New Zealand built in 1957. These buildings were dismantled from Cape Hallett between 2000-2006 and gifted to Canterbury Museum. Located at Canterbury Museum.

Snapshot of Antarctica
View award-winning images of Antarctic people, places, wildlife and science in this stunning outdoor display. The selection of photos showcases all 29 of the world’s National Antarctic Programs Located at Cathedral Square.

NZ IceFest Director Chloë Dear says the three exhibitions provide a good overview of Antarctica.

“Ice Lab and Hallett Station allow visitors to compare a former science base with current research stations in Antarctica to see how architecture has changed. Snapshot of Antarctica covers all aspects of living on the ice while Antarctic Time Travel gives users a perspective on climate change over millions of years.”

Two of the exhibitions – Ice Lab and Hallett Station – are based at Canterbury Museum.

“It’s exciting for visitors to view a genuine Antarctic Research Station here at Canterbury Museum,” says Nigel Tecofsky, Acting Museum Director. “It’s a rare opportunity to see the conditions in which scientists lived and worked on the ice in the 1950s at Cape Hallett and then experience the futuristic cutting-edge designs of Ice Lab.”

Mayor Lianne Dalziel says the festival highlights the important relationship Antarctica has to New Zealand.

“Christchurch is only one of five gateway cities to Antarctica in the world. We host the United States, Italian and Korean Antarctic programmes and their scientists and researchers regularly visit our city. This connection creates important economic, cultural and scientific benefits for Christchurch and links us to an international network of shared research and knowledge about Antarctica.”

The exhibitions are a taster for NZ IceFest, based in Christchurch from Saturday 27 September to Sunday 12 October. The festival features a range of diverse speaker topics, four additional exhibitions, including the interactive Antarctic Time Travel, and a range of educational and entertaining events. Learn more about the festival at


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