This Sunday we finally made it to the Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War exhibition at Te Papa museum. When the exhibition opened, there were long queues of up to 90 minutes queuing time. We ‘only’ waited 40 minutes, which was a little more reasonable I guess!
Entrance to the exhibition
The wait is worth it. The exhibition leads you through the eight month Gallipoli campaign, and tells the story through the eyes of eight New Zealanders who found themselves caught up in the events that unfolded. These eight people are captured in giant, 2.4 times life size, statues, created by Weta Workshop. They took 24,000 hours to create, and are quite remarkable – up close you can see the sweat on the brows of the soldiers, see the tears falling down the face of a nurse and the wear and tear on the clothing.
Day 1 – when it was still considered an adventure
There are also maps, miniature reconstructions and a tunnel where you can both hear and feel explosions and gunfire. 2,779 New Zealanders lost their lives during this campaign, and should be put into the context of the fact New Zealand sent more men to fight in the First World War, per head of population, than any other nation.
A doctor looks down at a fallen man
The Māori troops
There is a lot to read as you walk around and it is worth taking time to do so as it all adds to the experience. I loved the detailed miniature of the hospital ship in particular.
The final statue, wading through a pile of poppies
Should you be in Wellington, it is well worth adding this on to your list of things to see. It will be on for three years and is free. Catch it if you can.