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21Aug/170

Wellington Te Papa – Gallipoli The Scale of our War

Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is home to many cultural sites, among them Te Papa Tongarewa, the National Museum of New Zealand. The name means "the place of treasures of this land" and covers many different exhibitions, about the history, the animals and plants of this country, as well as a current exhibition about Gallipoli, that was done in cooperation with Weta Workshop. The exhibition is not the be confused with the Great War Exhibition in the anzac park, that will be covered soon here as well.

The Papa is a large building in the harbour area of Wellington and covers several free exhibitions. This exhibition will be shown between April 2015 until April 2019.

Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War

The presentation of this exhibition reminds designwise a bit of Flames of War, and with Battlefront being a kiwi company (but located in Auckland, not Wellington), that might have some reason. Weta Workshop, the special effects and creative design studio, that often works closely with Peter Jackson and supported movies like Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, Warcraft The Beginning and Avatar, brought large scale sculptures to this exhibition. Scenes from the war, shown in 2.4 times human size, with an sheer incredible amount of detail.

Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War

The sculptures are very realistic, with fine hair, beard shadow, blood, sweat and tear stains on them. Each of the sculptures captures a real life moment from The Great War. Above we see Spencer Westmacott, a Lt. from the Auckland Infantry Battalion.

The journey through the 2nd level of Te Papa is divided into the several phases of the war, but focuses on the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) and their activities in Gallipoli. Featuring uniforms, gear as well as weapons.

Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War

Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War

The next larger than life sculpture is Lt Col Percival Fenwick. The surgeon leans over a wounded soldier, that he is unable to save from his wounds.

Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War

In between the large sculpts other exhibits are shown, small dioramas like this fortification, and lots of memorabilia.

Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War

The third sculpture, a very tragic person, is Private Jack Dunn, who was sentenced to death for sleeping on sentry duty at Quinn’s Post. He was not fully recovered from a previous illness and along with side effects of the bad food, heat and diseases the exhaustion caused him to fail. The death sentence was later remitted by General Hamilton and Private Dunn returned to frontline service.

Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War

The fourth sculpture is a Maori contingent machine gun section. A very impressive sight, as the tension of the fightin soldiers was caught very well and that incredibly large maxim gun.

Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War

There were three dimensional displays, with illuminated maps, that showed the theatres of war. Along with more exhibits and quotes from the generals and soldiers that fought on both sides of this campaign.

Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War

Skipping sculpt nr. 5, the nurse Lottie Le Gallais, the sixth and last sculpture is Sgt. Cecil Malthus. The museum offers paper poppies, that you can write your thoughts on and lay them down to the feet of the soldier.

Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War Te Papa Gallipoli - The Scale of our War

The exhibition was very emotional and touching, as giving this almost 100 year old conflict are more relatable face. Not just numbers, uniforms and weapons, but real person with such attenation to detail, that it was almost scary. Explaining the backstory of each of those people, building a human level of connection, made it very immersive for the visitor.

This was the first war related visit along my journey through New Zealand and I was very eager to see the Great War Exhibition next, that will be covered here soon (with roughly 100 pictures!). If you're in Wellington, plan in at least 3 days as it is a lovely city, with a lot to experience. Not just the museums, but the sights and many bars, cafes and restaurant of the capital.

Just make sure about the timing. We were in Wellington on the beginning of the NZ holidays, so a lot of kids were around and the Gallipoli exhibition is not something that you should bring your kids along with.

Link: Gallipoli The Scale of our War

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