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Te Papa Anzac show breaks records

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/04/2016
© Getty Images

New Zealand's attachment to Gallipoli seems as strong as ever, with the national museum's exhibition on the campaign shattering previous attendance records.

More than 700,000 people have now seen Te Papa's Gallipoli: The scale of our war, which opened in April last year to mark the centenary of the campaign.

That's nearly double the previous attendance record of 389,000 visitors, which was held by the museum's Air New Zealand show.

The exhibition, which was developed in part by Wellington's Weta Workshop and took 24,000 hours of labour to set up, tells the stories of nurses and soldiers during the First World War on an monumental scale.

Te Papa chief executive Rick Ellis called the turnout "astonishing", both in terms of size and response.

"Beyond the sheer numbers, we have been humbled by the depth of feeling we see in our visitors," he said.

Weta Workshop's Sir Richard Taylor said he had been particularly moved by notes on paper poppies left by attendees, including children.

"And a man, maybe in his 80s, came up to me and said: `all I can think to do is crawl into a corner and weep'," he said.

The show will run until 2019 and entry is free.

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