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.
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). This 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.