Thursday, September 10, 2009
TE MAORI PUTTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
Today is the 25th anniversary of the opening of Te Maori at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is a date worth celebrating. It is also a time to put the record straight. From mid 1980 the exhibition was managed - very professionally - by a team headed by Kara Puketapu and Piri Sciascia. But the breakthrough issues - the rights to ownership of the works and to say if the could be shown or not being vested in the iwi, hapu or whanau from who they came and that they should be kept warm in New York and other venues by descendants - were decided long before that at a meeting in New York in December 1979. That was led by the then QEII Arts Council and it was a critical moment. Credit for that should not be taken away.