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Ron Mueck breaks another record in Christchurch

Ron Mueck breaks another record in Christchurch

Yesterday Ron Mueck became the most popular paid-entry exhibition to be held in Christchurch since a public art gallery was first established in the city in the 1930s.

By 5pm yesterday (Tuesday 28 December), a record 72, 716 visitors had seen the exhibition, which opened at the Gallery on 2 October. Previously, the Gallery’s most popular paid-entry exhibition ever was the Buried Army of Qin Shihuang, which showed at the former Robert McDougall Gallery in 1986 and attracted 71, 345 visitors.

In November, Ron Mueck surpassed Cecil Beaton: Portraits, previously the most popular exhibition since the Gallery moved to its current location. It attracted 29,063 visitors.

The Gallery is the sole New Zealand venue for the National Gallery of Victoria touring exhibition and features 13 uncannily life-like sculptures. Visitors have only until 23 January to see the exhibition.

Gallery director Jenny Harper says it is wonderful that the exhibition has struck a chord with so many visitors, many of whom have never visited the Gallery before.

“We were thrilled when visitor numbers surpassed all previous exhibitions since the Gallery moved to its current location and it’s even more exciting now to exceed the most popular paid-entry at our predecessor Gallery, Robert McDougall. The comments in our visitors’ book are testament to the reactions many people have had to the exhibition. Comments such as ‘Most moving experience ever’ ‘…brought tears to my eyes’ and ‘Gave me goose bumps – phenomenal’ show just how strongly people have reacted to it.”

Ms Harper says visitors have only one month left to see this extraordinary exhibition and the Christmas holiday break is the perfect time to do this. “We’d love people to bring their friends and family to visit the exhibition. It offers a surprisingly reflective experience during the often busy end of year.”

To date, 63% of visitors to Ron Mueck have been from Christchurch or Canterbury , 21% have been from other parts of New Zealand while 16% are international visitors.

Tickets cost $15 for adults, $7 for children and $40 for a family (two adults and up to three children). For groups of 10 or more, tickets are $12 per person. They are available from, the Gallery and i-Site information centre in Cathedral Square .

Ron Mueck will be at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu until 23 January 2011.

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