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Major Milestone Reached In Antarctic Conservation

27 July 2004

Major Milestone Reached In Antarctic Conservation

The century old huts in Antarctica built by the early explorers could be saved for future generations if plans unveiled today in Wellington are adopted.

The Conservation Plans were presented to the Prime Minister Rt Hon Helen Clark at Te Papa’s “Antarctic Heroes: The Race to the South Pole” exhibition in Wellington.

The Conservation Plans are for Robert Falcon Scott’s two huts at Cape Evans and Hut Point and the oldest of them all built by Carsten Borchgrevink at Cape Adare. They include a detailed history of the expeditions, site assessments and significance, conservation policies, recommendations for conservation treatment and detailed working drawings.

The plans were funded by the New Zealand Government through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the U.S. based Getty Grant Program. Today’s launch of the Plans is the culmination of nearly two years of research, site surveys and compilation by a team of experts and contributors from New Zealand, Australia, Britain and the United States. Drafts of the plans were reviewed by more than 60 heritage agencies, individuals and groups internationally.

“These Plans probably represent the most comprehensive conservation work ever undertaken in a polar environment. Their thoroughness and the engagement by international experts confirms the international importance of the structures and the leadership New Zealand has brought to their preservation.” Trust Chairman Rob Fenwick says.

“Today’s milestone would not be possible without the support of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the Getty Grant Program, and for that support, we are very thankful.

“The next step for the Antarctic Heritage Trust is to secure funding to implement the plans, which we expect will be an ongoing project over the next 10 years,” Rob Fenwick says.

Prime Minister Helen Clark acknowledged the world-leading nature of the plans.

“This is a major step for Antarctic conservation and once again New Zealand is leading the way. The huts are a recognised world treasure and the plans will help ensure they are there for generations to come,” she says.

Speaking from the UK, Robert Falcon Scott’s grandson, Falcon Scott, is thankful the Antarctic Heritage Trust is leading the way in conserving these significant heritage sites.

“I hope interested Governments, agencies and individuals around the world will help the Trust in this cause. The Trust’s Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project aims to ensure this unique legacy of exploration, leadership, adventure and endurance lives on, not only as a monument to those who perished trying to explore the great Antarctic continent but also to inspire future generations to explore and discover new frontiers,” Falcon Scott says.

A conservation report for the fourth hut, Shackleton’s Hut, was released last year.


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