Moa bones to be fully restored

​10 July 2017

A precious moa skeleton at Taupo Museum is set to be restored after a huge local fundraising effort. 

Museum displays officer Jon Primmer said the Friends of the Museum coordinated the drive to restore the skeleton, which was found in a cave in Waikaremoana in 1969. 

The moa was one of only a few complete skeletons left in existence and had at least five different kinds of glue holding the bones together, many of which had discoloured, he said. It had also been assembled incorrectly and its legs needed to be inverted. 

"It needs to be completely dismantled bone by bone, cleaned up and put back together in a way that doesn't cause damage," Mr Primmer said. "Scientific understanding of the moa and conservation practices have developed dramatically since our moa was first assembled, so we now want to give her the latest and best care." 

Chairman of the Friends of the Museum Roger Marshall said the cost of the rearticulation was up to $28,000 and would be completed by professional conservator Judith Streat in August. A committed fundraising effort by the group was launched and along with significant community support, a contribution of $10,000 from Bay of Plenty/Waikato charitable trust BayTrust late last year meant the total raised was enough to cover the rearticulation. 

"We'll be happy to see it resurrected," Mr Marshall said. "This is an animal found nowhere else in the world and no more exist." 

Once the moa had been restored there were plans to create a full display for it, including information about the bones and the history of the moa. 

The moa is being rearticulated in the Niven Room at the museum throughout August and visitors are welcome to watch the work taking place. Viewing times are to be confirmed later this month.

Page reviewed: 10 Jul 2017 2:46pm