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Kon-Tiki - short history

Kon-Tiki - short history

Kon-Tiki - short history

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Easter Island Myths, and Popular Culture
From 6th of October 2011 the exhibition will take place at The Kon-Tiki Museum.

Clich here for exhibition poster and travel plan

A new exhibition on the cultural impact of Easter Island and its mysterious stone heads is being staged in London before an international tour which will visit museums in Norway and the distant Pacific island.

Recreations of the mysterious stone heads of Easter Island are at the centre of a new exhibition on the famous statues which have become a worldwide icon.
Easter Island, Myths and Popular Culture is being held at Canning House in London until Friday 26 November. The exhibition will then be staged at the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum in Marton, Middlesborough, the Kon-Tiki Museum in Norway and finally the Father Sebastian Englert Anthropological Museum on Easter Island.

Seven of the stone heads, known as ‘moai’, especially created for the exhibition and measuring up to 10ft tall are on show at the Canning House exhibition. The other statue is at the Chilean Embassy, which will be hosting the international symposium Easter Island: Cultural and Historical Perspectives on Friday 19 November.

The exhibition has been curated by Dr Ian Conrich, Fellow at the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex.

He said: “Before this exhibition there was only one moai in London at the British Museum, now we have another eight. This exhibition shows their massive popular appeal and their continuing use in everything from films, adverts and toys through to computer games, comics and cartoons.”

The exhibition features more than 300 images, 150 objects and many interactive elements. During its international tour it will also be complemented by a series of linked events and workshops.

Dr Conrich said he hoped they would reveal the extensive cultural impact of the moai created on the small Pacific Island: “Easter Island’s stone statues have long held a popular appeal which has extended far into the culture of foreign countries.

“We are trying to understand how it has captured the imaginations of different cultures around the world and to do that we are bringing together academics from a wide range of backgrounds including cultural studies, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, and international relations..

“This material has never been brought together in this way before and it is a huge coup to be able to put it on display here in London and at the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, the Kon-Tiki Museum and on Easter Island.”

Dr Conrich said it would be fascinating to see how islanders react to the exhibition when it is staged on Easter Island.

He said: “I have shown material like this to islanders before and they are stunned by the way the statues are represented in the culture of other countries.”

The exhibition has been put together in partnership with co-curators Dr Roy Smith from Nottingham Trent University and Martyn Harris from Birkbeck, University of London. They have been assisted by Dr Dan Bendrups from the University of Otago, New Zealand, Dr Grant McCall from the University of New South Wales and Easter Island based researcher Frieder Wahl.

Full exhibition

Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, Marton, Middlesborough – 5 March to 4 September 2011

Kon-Tiki Museum, Oslo, Norway – 6 October 2011 to 31 March 2012

Father Sebastian Englert Anthropological Museum on Easter Island –8 May to 30 September 2012

Planning the exhibition. From left. Ian Conrich, Maja Bauge, Martyn Harris and Halfdan Tangen jr

Tidligere utstillinger på Kon-Tiki Museet