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Celebrating Ans Westra And NZ In Holland

Celebrating Ans Westra And NZ In Holland

This Saturday and Sunday (16 and 17 September), the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, Holland, is hosting a New Zealand weekend to coincide with the official opening of the Ans Westra exhibition that was first shown in 2004 at the National Library Gallery.

The exhibition is accompanied by the award-winning publication Handboek and the TVNZ documentary Ans Westra : Private Journeys/Public Signposts produced by Jan Bieringa.

The Westra exhibition in Leiden - which also happens to be the birthplace of Ans Westra - was installed in July under the supervision of Luit Bieringa, who was the original show's curator.

'Given the annual "shutdown" in Europe for the summer holidays, it was always intended to have the official opening in late August or September, but, since we installed the show, Ans and I have been engaged in regular Wednesday and weekend guided tours, much to the delight of the exhibition's visitors,' said Mr Bieringa.

The exhibition's official opening this weekend coincides with the arrival of New Zealand's new ambassador to the Hague, Rachel Fry. The New Zealand Embassy there, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington, together with Mr Bieringa and the Leiden Museum staff, have put together an exciting two-day programme of events including New Zealand films, a series of workshops, and performances by Ngati Ranana from London.

One of New Zealand's short-film makers, Sima Urale, is in Amsterdam over the next few months and will be able to introduce her films to the Dutch audience.

'The Museum and the Embassy have invited a broad range of people from different interest groups throughout the Netherlands, as well as from London, to attend the opening celebrations,' Mr Bieringa said. 'And with the availability of Marlborough wines (generously sent over by Staete Landt and Grove Mill), New Zealand food, and an Air New Zealand prize return trip to New Zealand, the weekend will be a memorable one.

'Without the support of both the National Library and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Leiden showing would have been difficult, and the museum's appreciation of that support is demonstrated by its efforts to make this a hugely successful and enjoyable event.'

After Leiden, the exhibition will resume its New Zealand tour of major galleries and museums, with showings in Wanganui, Christchurch, and possibly Tauranga.


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