Post by Dave Homewood on Aug 2, 2018 21:09:19 GMT 12
Sir Peter Jackson's Great War Exhibition won't be developed into a National War Museum, and will instead be dismantled, at a cost of nearly $13 million to taxpayers. A huge loss, it is one of the best museums in New Zealand.
I thought the exhibition was always intended to be temporary - 2014-2018 to coincide with 100 yr anniversary of WWI? Certainly, the docents that led as through a couple of years ago were under that impression....
Post by Dave Homewood on Aug 2, 2018 23:00:35 GMT 12
That was the original plan JP, but over the past couple of years it had been realised how important and popular the exhibition was and plans were being worked on to actually buy back the Dominion Museum building and expand what is there into a fully fledged National War Museum. Sadly these plans have now been scuppered.
This is the only chance we would ever have gotten to put right the injustice of the National War Museum promised 100 years ago not being established. Now it will never happen.
I hope Sir Peter moves everything to a private museum and sets it up again somewhere.
Post by Peter Lewis on Aug 5, 2018 22:46:39 GMT 12
I visited the Great War Exhibition last Friday afternoon.
It occupies the Dominion Museum building, now owned by Massey University.
If you have viewed the original exhibition that has been there for the last few years, that apparently still exists unchanged.
What has now been added is a 'live experience' of Quinn's Post, Gallipoli. This is an additional cost option. The experience is guided, with a maximum of six per tour and on the day I was there ran every half hour.
Also new to the exhibition is 'The End of The War?' which is a surround-movie featruring interviews with descendants of NZ servicemen/women who served in WW1. While you wait for your tour time, you can sit and watch this.
The Quinns Post experience is a walk through up and down through a number of tunnels and trenches with stops to hear from holograms representing soldiers participating in the battle. This is set to a rather noisy background of gunfire and lightflashes. The tour takes 30 minutes.
Yes, it is all rather interesting, and probably as realistic as you could reasonably get.
As the new experience occupies you for only a short time I would say it is worth the visit if you happen to be in Wellington, but probably not really worthwhile to make a special trip for it from elsewhere if you have already seen the previous setup.
Post by Peter Lewis on Aug 5, 2018 22:58:40 GMT 12
From the start, the whole Great War Exhibition was intended to last only a finite time - 2014 to 2018.
Thus the owners of the building (Massey University) leased out the space to accommodate that timeframe.
Like any prudent landlord, they then have taken steps to arrange for the further use of that building after the end of that time. This may include leasing out to some other user, or to use the area for their own purposes. There may well be a written contract for this use, with penalty clauses for any breach of that contract.
It would be unfair to blame the landlord if the exhibition itself (or the people behind it) have run into problems, delays and difficulties creating the displays. Really, that's nothing to do with them - they have just hired out the space. You cannot blame a theatre owner if the producer who hires that theatre cannot stage his show properly.
Similarly, you would be annoyed if when the time came to move into a house you have arranged to rent and the previous tenants had refused to move out. Any problems they may have are nothing to do with you - or the landlord.
So sheet any accusations or blame to those responsible, not the owners.
Post by Dave Homewood on Aug 6, 2018 8:20:59 GMT 12
I am just curious, what were the circumstances that led to the building being under the university's ownership? This amazing building originally the Dominion Museum and the National Art Gallery. Was it purchased by the university when the museum shifted to the new Te Papa building? Or was the building a government giveaway?
I found in Papers Past that 1918 was not the only time the National War Museum was proposed. In fact in 1945 just as WWII was ending the Board of the National Art Gallery - who had been forced out of the building for the duration of the war as it had become RNZAF Headquarters! - made the recommendation to the government that with all the documents and material held from WWI and the just finished WWII, they thought it prudent that rather than the gallery move back there, they could find an alternate home and that the Government set up a National War Museum in the Dominion Museum building. It sounds like the perfect plan but it obviously fell on deaf ears yet again.