6 Dec 2011

Maori expo big attraction at Shanghai Museum

6:31 am on 6 December 2011

A Maori exhibition at Shanghai Museum attracted 611,000 visitors during the four months it was on.

The Te Ao Maori exhibition ran from 22 July - 6 November and was the first-ever display that took Maori taonga or artefacts to a Chinese museum.

The museum described it as the most popular exhibition for 2011.

The exhibition was a joint project between Otago Museum and Dunedin's sister city, Shanghai.

Otago museum Maori advisory committee chairperson, Matapura Ellison, says it's a staggering attendance for Te Ao Maori and he is pleased for the Otago Museum and Ngai Tahu people who together put so much into the project.

A spokesperson for Shanghai Museum says it introduced Chinese audiences to the culture and history of Maori, a subject on which most Chinese would previously have had only a vague idea.

He says visitors were surprised to see many similarities between Maori and Chinese artefacts.