Hillary artifacts will be displayed in the heart of the
museum. Photo ODT files
Seventeen artefacts representing the life of Sir Edmund
Hillary have been gifted to Otago Museum by June, Lady Hillary.
In making the gift, Lady Hillary had been motivated to ensure
the items, willed to her by Sir Edmund, made their way into a
public collection for long-term preservation and public
accessibility, museum officials said.
The gift includes a Kodak Retina camera Sir Edmund used on
the summit of Mt Everest to capture the historic ascent in
1953 and one of the best-known photographic portraits of Sir
Edmund, given to him by the photographer, Yousuf Karsh, a
Canadian of Armenian descent.
Other items include a well-known Hillary mug, from the
Everest expedition, rock shards Sir Edmund collected as a
memento atop Mt Everest.
Another item is an ice axe used on the 1956 Trans-Antarctic
In a statement, Lady Hillary said she was "very confident"
the museum would "care for these items appropriately as their
custodians for all New Zealanders".
"And I know they'll display them with pride as reminders of
Ed," she said.
Museum officials said the gift would be displayed "in the
heart of the museum", in the atrium foyer and stairwell.
The artefacts would be "visible to all who visit the museum".
The exhibition will be opened by Lady Hillary this evening.
Museum chief executive Shimrath Paul said the Dunedin and
Otago community would take "enormous pleasure and inspiration
from these significant items"Museum staff were honoured that
Lady Hillary had chosen the museum to receive the gift, he
"We welcome visitors from New Zealand and beyond to share
with us in this.
"Sir Edmund's story reminds all of us of what it is to be a
New Zealander," Mr Paul said.