Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Our place

Our national museum Te Papa (translates as ‘Our place’) is a fantastic place to hang out if you’re ever in Wellington. Rory and I spent another day there just before Christmas as we were keen on seeing the latest Pompeii exhibition. It was a great day as usual, we’re inevitably inspired and excited by what we see there.

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I see today in the news that a new boss of Te Papa has been appointed to replace Dr Seddon Bennington who died a few months ago of hypothermia while hiking in the Tararua ranges. The new chap is a Welshman, Michael Houlihan who is currently the head of Amgueddfa Cymru, a seven-museum group in Wales. He’s due here around mid year to take up the job. I hope he’s not a hiker. 

An ever popular fixture at Te Papa is the colossal squid which was inadvertently caught in a trawlers net in the Ross Sea in 2008. The fishermen had the foresight to freeze the dead squid so they could bring it back in one piece. Apparently a  colossal squid is way bigger than a giant squid – this one weighs 495 kilograms (1100 lbs). Colossel SquidThis photo shows the squid being defrosted for the first time a year ago. The marine biologist and squid expert on the right is a guy I went to school with, Steve O’Shea.


  1. Why are they defrosting it? Making calamari rings?

  2. I'm doing the same as you with my 15 y/o at Easter weekend. He's keen on the Pompeii exhibit AND the colossal squid too. Will check out what other exhibits they have that weekend too.
    Thought we might check out the new Karori Wildlife sanctuary while we're in the city, make the most of the weekend as we don't get down there anywhere near as often as I'd like.

  3. I'm quite found in visiting cultural/historic museums myself, and I tend to bring (drag...) my family as well. Knowing our history is knowing ourselves.

    Btw that's a serious looking squid!!


  4. Holy Big Squid Batman - no wonder I never wanted to deep sea dive *shudders*

    Marine Biologist looks cute *winks*

  5. LMAO Lori - you crack me up.

    Sounds like a great weekend away Lorri, you'll love it. I'm there a lot for work (once a week at least) but hardly ever get the chance to hang out down there with Rory so I love it when we do.

    Daniel, I don't understand how anyone can not like museums - I love them like you.

    Joanne - lol, doesn't bear thinkiung about does it? And BTW, yeah he is cute :-)


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