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It could be up to a year before the mounted remains of hermit sheep Shrek are unveiled at Te Papa, despite the famed merino having been at the Wellington museum for almost a year.
A mounted Shrek arrived at Te Papa in April 2013, but curators will still not provide a date for his public unveiling or any details about the Shrek exhibition.
In September 2013, the Otago Daily Times reported a Te Papa spokeswoman as saying the ''tentative date'' for the unveiling was November that year, although that remained subject to change.
In late October, a different spokesperson said there had ''never been plans confirmed for an exhibition of Shrek the Sheep to open in 2013'' and Te Papa was still working on the project.
Yesterday, a spokesperson said Te Papa expected to open the exhibit ''later in 2014'' and declined to be more specific.
Shrek's owner John Perriam told the ODT late last year he understood Te Papa was working towards timing the unveiling to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Shrek's discovery, in April 2004.
However, when asked if that was likely to happen, Te Papa's response was simply: ''2014 will mark a decade since Shrek was discovered and the exhibit is expected to open later in the year.''
Te Papa could not provide further details on the exhibition at this stage, as it was still working with other parties in ''actively developing'' the telling of Shrek's story.
The spokesperson said there had been no delay in opening the exhibit.
''A significant amount of research, conservation and exhibition development goes into creating and delivering our exhibitions, and this is the normal process for any exhibit at Te Papa.''
While the exhibit was in development, Shrek was being ''meticulously looked after'' by humanities collection managers in the history collection room at Te Papa's Tory St facility.
''Te Papa always strives to take the utmost care of items in its possession and is conscious that Shrek has been much-loved by many New Zealanders.''
Mr Perriam could not be reached for comment yesterday.
April 2004: Shrek discovered high on Bendigo Station after evading muster and shearing for six years. Goes on to became world famous, raising more than $200,000 for Cure Kids in subsequent years.
June 2011: Shrek dies.
May 2012: Cure Kids' then fundraising and business development director Josie Spillane says things are ''on track'' for Shrek to be unveiled at Te Papa later that year.
April 2013: The mounted remains of Shrek arrive at Te Papa.
September 2013: Te Papa spokesperson tells the ODT the launch of the Shrek exhibition is tentatively set down for November.
Late October 2013: Another spokesperson says the exhibition will not be opening that year.
January 2014: Still no confirmed date for exhibition opening.