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''Touchable sheep'' in the form of three taxidermied Romney ewes and three lambs are waiting patiently at Otago Museum before being shipped to China for the grand opening in June.
Museum director Ian Griffin said it was ''a fairly big deal'' to have one of the opening exhibits at the museum and their contribution would be ''pretty spectacular''.
The Otago Museum's exhibit tells the story of New Zealand through the eyes of the country's inhabitants and would include stunning Maori cultural pieces and natural history items such as the sheep.
''For some reason the Chinese are fascinated by sheep and part of the exhibition will be some sheep - taxidermied - so the people in the exhibition can stroke them and feel their wool and all that kind of thing.''
The sheep had been selected by an Alexandra farmer and prepared by a taxidermist in Arrowtown.