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By Jarrod• 18 Nov 2015
The Wellington Museum - already one of the world’s top 50 museums, according to The Times of London - just got even better, with the opening of their brand new exhibition space, The Attic.
The Attic takes up the entire top floor of the The Bond Store, the historic 1892 building which the Wellington Museum calls home. Previously inaccessible to the public, this new space showcases a staggering slice of Wellington history, going right through to the present day.
It was already possible to spend most of a day getting lost among the Wellington Museum’s exhibits. Now you could easily spend more than a day there, with many of The Attic’s new displays being interactive or hands-on.
One of the main attractions is Ngā Hau, an exhibit designed to allow visitors to travel through time. Styled as a Victorian time machine, Ngā Hau takes you on an audiovisual historical journey, via a series of video vignettes. Fittingly, Ngā Hau is located behind a giant clock face - the former clock of the Wellington Town Hall.
Other exhibits, believe it or not, include lions, vampires and aliens - not exactly your standard museum fare. The lions come from Wellington Zoo, but you can rest assured there’s no animal welfare issue with keeping them in a museum, as they’re both stuffed; in the past, the Zoo’s practice was to have such creatures taxidermied when they passed on.
As for the vampires? You can see them in the display dedicated to the film ‘What We Do in the Shadows’, made by Wellington filmmakers Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement. This exhibit features costumes, props, and clips from the movie.
And while there aren’t any actual aliens (that we know of) there, The Attic is lucky enough to host the New Zealand Defence Force’s declassified UFO files - probably the closest thing we have to New Zealand X-Files, obtained in relatively recent times by the Carter Observatory. It’s genuinely fascinating stuff that I had no idea existed.
All told, there are about 50 new exhibits in The Attic, all of them providing new insights into our city’s rich history.
Treat yourself, and set aside some time to explore them.
Stella the Swiss Shepherd barks her way through her favourite things to see and do around Wellington.