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Te Papa Gallipoli

Humbled by Gallipoli at Te Papa  

In this deeply moving and personal exhibition, Te Papa and Weta Workshops combined to create this moving account of what happened at Gallipoli and to pay tribute to the 2,779 Kiwi’s who lost their lives there. It truly is something every Kiwi should see.

No trip to Wellington would be complete without a trip to Te Papa and this time we also went to Gallipoli – The scale of our war.

Not having seen anything about it before (I know – I must be living under a rock) we didn’t know what to expect.

Walking in you are immediately confronted with a larger than life and incredibly real looking Lieutenant Spencer Westmacott in the heat of battle.

Te Papa Gallipoli

It was so large and so real that it literally stopped you in your tracks. The crowd that had been chattering outside fell silent and Sophia reached for my hand.

This is the scale of the exhibit right the way through – the attention to detail is amazing – the hairs on their arms, the calloused fingers, the tears and sweat. It puts you in what would have been their lives, frozen into a second.

An interactive map of the hills around Gallipoli shows the scale and futility of the battle in a way I have never seen before.

Te Papa Gallipoli

Our children are 7, 8 and 9 and most of the time they sail through life relatively unaffected by sad things (as children of this age do), but this was different. Everything was so real and on a scale that it simply couldn’t be ignored.

All 3 got very sad, especially the youngest who had to leave early because she was getting too upset. As we sprinkled cleansing water over ourselves at the end of the exhibition though I told all the girls that it’s OK to be sad because hopefully that sadness will stop us from going to war again.

This is not a breeze in, breeze out exhibition. Prepare to be moved and while I think it is entirely appropriate to take school age children be sensitive to how they are feeling and plan to have a talk about war and peace afterwards.

Te Papa Gallipoli

Entry is free and you will find Te Papa in Wellington on Cable Street.

More details over on their website.

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