Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington (must see)

The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is New Zealand's national museum, located in Wellington. Usually known as Te Papa it opened in 1998 after the merging of the National Museum of New Zealand and the National Art Gallery. The 17th-most-visited art gallery in the world, an average of more than 1.5 million people visit every year.

Te Papa Tongarewa translates literally to "container of treasures" or in full "container of treasured things and people that spring from mother Earth here in New Zealand". Te Papa's philosophy emphasises the living face behind its cultural treasures, many of which retain deep ancestral links to the indigenous Māori people.

The 36,000 square meter building opened in 1998.

The History Collection includes many dresses and textiles, the oldest of which date back to the sixteenth century The History Collection also includes the New Zealand Post Archive with around 20,000 stamps and related objects.

The cultural collections include collections on photography, taonga Māori (Māori cultural treasures), and pacific cultures.

The long term exhibitions of cultural objects focus on New Zealand history, Māori culture and New Zealand's natural world. The hands-on and interactive exhibitions focus on engaging particularly young visitors and include both indoor areas and out-door areas built and planted for the purpose.

All permanent exhibitions are free.

The museum has sometimes been the centre of controversy. The siting of significant collections at the water's edge on reclaimed land next to one of the world's most active faults has resulted in concern by some people. There has been criticism of the "sideshow" nature of some exhibits, primarily the Time Warp section, which has closed. There has also been criticism that some exhibits were not given due reverence. For example, a major work by Colin McCahon was at one stage juxtaposed with a 1950s refrigerator in a New Zealand culture exhibition.

The Maori name of the museum has caused controversy, too. In 1989 the Maori iwi Te Āti Awa, located near Wellington, requested that the Ngāti Whakaue iwi grant a name to the museum, which resulted in the Ngāti Whakaue bestowing the name Kuru Tongarerewa, an ancient ceremonial name important to the iwi evoking spiritual, historical, and cultural importance. However, the name eventually adopted by the museum caused offense by being a modification in the form of Te Papa Tongerewa. Meetings between the museum's board and the Ngāti Whakaue led to promises that the name would be changed to Te Papa Kuru Tongererewa, however the change did not occur.

Opening hours: Daily 10 am − 6 pm (except Christmas Day).
Sight description based on wikipedia

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa on Map

Sight Name: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Sight Location: Wellington, New Zealand (See walking tours in Wellington)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Wellington, New Zealand

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