24 Apr 2013

Opportunities raised by cloak loan

9:51 pm on 24 April 2013

Te Papa Museum says the loan to it of a special Maori cloak by the National Museum of China opens the way for both countries to work together to bring back more taonga to Aotearoa.

A traditional Maori feather cloak was welcomed home on Tuesday morning after spending nearly six decades in Beijing.

It was a presented as a gift to the Chinese leader Mao Zedong by the Maori king, Koroki, in 1957 as a gesture of goodwill.

Acting kaihautu Rhonda Paku said Te Papa has built up a good relationship with staff at the Chinese museum and they are keen to loan, and possibly repatriate, more Maori artefacts from their collection.

She said both museums want to work together to reconnect these precious taonga with their tribal communities.

Ms Paku said it is important that Maori taonga held in storage come out into the light so that more people can learn about their stories.

The links established will also open up more research possibilities between Te Papa Museum and the National Museum of China.