“Is this the arse-end of colonialism?” asks a prominent New Zealand gallery director after precious artefacts gifted to a British museum ended up for sale in a London antique shop.
This is how it goes. A museum wanting to divest itself of gifted items will consult staff, contact donors, consider other registered museums and ensure any disposal is fully documented. This is laid out in Te Papa’s collection resource guide and the UK Museums Association’s Disposal Toolkit.
So, how did a bronze statuette of Canterbury founder John Robert Godley, donated by New Zealand to the Imperial Institute in London in 1939, end up in a Haymarket antique shop with a £35,000 price tag and no provenance? And how did a finely carved 19th-century Maori pare (lintel), once proudly ...
NZ Listener digital and print subscriptions
Thanks for your interest in this article. To get your latest edition of the NZ Listener via a print subscription click here.
The NZ Listener is now also available via a Zinio digital experience – read the latest edition on your computer or via the Zinio app on your tablet. To find our more click here.
Accessing archive content: If you’re interested in accessing archive content, please contact our NZ Listener helpdesk contact us. We endeavor to get back to you within 5 working days.
If you already have an archive content login, please login to view and unlock content.
Any queries regarding access please contact our NZ Listener helpdesk contact us.