Canterbury Museum- Overview
Located in the Christchurch’s Cultural Precinct, Canterbury Museum was constructed in 1870 in the Gothic revival architectural style at the hands of the prominent architect of his times- Benjamin Mountfort. It is being stated that after 2 years from its construction, a floor was added to the otherwise single-storied building, however, for the upper floor, the Victorian Gothic style was used. Over the years it continued to grow- in 1880 the inner courtyard was roofed, in 1950, a whole new wing adjacent to the Christ’s College, was added, followed by another addition circa 1977.
Canterbury Museum’s Collection Details
Canterbury Museum has been awe-inspiring its visitors for the past 130 years, its collection includes the world’s greatest collection of artifacts. However, the first hints of artifacts surfaced during the early excavations which mainly involved moa bones and bird skins. This made the Museum’s first Director, Sir Julius von Haast, to choose this as the basis of Canterbury Museum’s collection. Today, the collections comprise of more than 2.1 million items which cover all from Antarctic expeditions to Canterbury settlement to ethnology and natural history.
The major highlights are the exhibits which showcase the heroic age of discovery in Antarctica, the quirky Kiwiana at Fred & Myrtle’s Paua Shell House and the Māori collections at the Iwi Tawhito and Ngā Taonga galleries.
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