Canterbury Museum favorites will face the final days, while others will survive

The penny, the horse and the skidoo will survive, but the cave and the giant globe will experience their last days.

As the Canterbury Museum packs up its 2.3 million treasures for a major $205 million overhaul of its Christchurch building, some popular exhibits may never return when the attraction reopens in five years.

Museum director Anthony Wright said old favorites like the model horse, penny-farthing and skidoo, all ridden by young visitors for generations, will return to the new museum because they “bring smiles to people’s faces.” people’s faces.

Canterbury Museum Exhibitions Director Neil Phillips in front of the globe, which may not move.

KAI SCHWOERER/Stuff

Canterbury Museum Exhibitions Director Neil Phillips in front of the globe, which may not move.

But the grotto – a nook that kids love to explore in the museum lobby – and the giant rotating globe, which gives visitors a view of the world from a New Zealand perspective, may not be.

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Hollie Anderson, 7, playing on horseback at the Canterbury Museum in 2016. The horse will feature in the new museum.

Vicki Anderson / Stuff

Hollie Anderson, 7, playing on horseback at the Canterbury Museum in 2016. The horse will feature in the new museum.

“We want to keep that slightly retro feel of curious discovery that this museum has always had,” Wright said.

He said the elaborate dioramas and taxidermied specimens from the Bird Hall would be used in the new museum.

Classic exhibits like Christchurch Street and the Fred and Myrtle Paua Shell House will also be preserved.

Digital technician Sarah Cragg wraps a gannet skeleton at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch.

KAI SCHWOERER/Stuff

Digital technician Sarah Cragg wraps a gannet skeleton at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch.

But the globe is unlikely to return to its current form.

“I don’t know yet if it will come back,” Wright said.

“We’re going to try to do something to remember it. Part of the geography of this globe is colonial. We have to be careful what we teach people.

The ambitious redevelopment plan includes the demolition of parts of the museum built between the 1950s and 1990s, the restoration of historic parts of the complex and the integration of the Robert McDougall Art Gallerywhich has been leased to Christchurch City Council.

THINGS

The Canterbury Museum has grown over the past 150 years. (Video first published on October 9, 2020)

The museum will close in April for five years for redesignbut plans to open a pop-up location in the city.

The budget was cut after exploding 23% from $195 million to $245 million due to rising construction costs and inflation. It was reduced to $205 million by removing basic insulation from historic parts of the museum.

“We had to find a significant saving to stay within budget. It was the only option that could save enough to bring us back to budget,” Wright said.

The majority of the completed museum will be isolated at the base and will have a new concrete basement for the storage of collections, with the government granted $25 million for earthquake protection measures earlier this month.

Collections technicians Luke Rowell and Ani Mareroe package parts of an Allosaurus at the museum.

KAI SCHWOERER/Stuff

Collections technicians Luke Rowell and Ani Mareroe package parts of an Allosaurus at the museum.

Wright said the basement would increase the museum’s storage space by 35% and was designed to protect the collection from possible flooding or rising water tables.

“There are three layers of water protection for the internal storage space. It’s almost inconceivable that you could run water through there.

“We did everything we could to protect him.”

The proposed new atrium will feature a blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling.

Provided

The proposed new atrium will feature a blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling.

Museum staff are currently preparing the collection for the move. Approximately 16 trucks per day transport items from collection to a storage warehouse. The museum galleries will gradually close by Christmas.

The museum will be empty at the end of January and a farewell exhibition will take place in the otherwise vacant gallery in February and March, before the museum closes in April.

The museum still needs to raise $25 million by April before construction can begin. Bosses are in funding talks with the lottery fund and a government fund for culture for the remaining money.

The Rolleston Ave frontage of the Canterbury Museum will have three new entrances and a new cafe, to the right.

Provided

The Rolleston Ave frontage of the Canterbury Museum will have three new entrances and a new cafe, to the right.

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