Cultural treasures in exhibition

Otago Museum chief executive Shimrath Paul chooses a silver and gold necklace from the Shanghai...
Otago Museum chief executive Shimrath Paul chooses a silver and gold necklace from the Shanghai Museum's collections for an exhibition planned for Dunedin next year. Photo supplied.
Otago Museum will host a major exhibition from Shanghai Museum next year, in exchange for a successful display from the Otago institution, which was recently staged in Shanghai.

The "Te Ao Maori: Maori Treasures from the Otago Museum" exhibition attracted about 610,000 visitors to Shanghai Museum in Dunedin's Chinese sister city late last year.

Otago Museum chief executive Shimrath Paul and a museum director, Clare Wilson, visited the Shanghai institution earlier this month and selected about 60% of the items to be displayed at next year's show.

This exhibition focuses on cultural treasures linked to the Miao people, one of 55 officially recognised ethic minority groups in China.

Mr Paul told yesterday's Otago Museum Trust Board meeting the two museums enjoyed a close relationship.

Because of that, the Chinese institution was waiving costs amounting to several hundred thousand dollars which a hosting museum would usually have to pay for a major exhibition, the board heard.

"The Emperor's Dragons", an earlier major show from the Shanghai institution, was staged at Otago Museum in 2008.

Ms Wilson said the show was scheduled to open at Otago Museum next July and would run for about three months.

"The calibre of the exhibition is going to be exceptional."

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