Antique weapons removal at Auckland museum sparks row

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A row has broken out over the dismantling of a long standing display of old weapons at Auckland War Memorial Museum. 

The museum has dismantled a long-running weapons display to make room for a new one.
Source: 1 NEWS

The Auckland branch of the Antique Arms Association says putting the large collection of early war weapons into storage is disrespectful to the memory of the soldiers who carried them and Aucklanders who donated them. 

Many of the weapons were donated by New Zealand soldiers or their families in the late 1920s when the museum was nearing completion.

The association is angry it was not consulted about the museum's plan and says it is ironic that the weapons have been packed away during centennial commemorations for World War I. 

The museum's exhibit's director, David Reeves, says a brand new exhibition is being constructed in the space formally occupied by the armoury.  It will open in October to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele. 

Mr Reeves says the new exhibit will feature six guns from the armoury collection and is part of the museum's on-going refurbishment programme. 

But antique arms experts say the armoury needs to be resurrected, amid accusations the museum is selecting which parts of history the public see. 

The museum refutes this saying it can't display everything it holds and that it is using different ways to engage with younger audiences.

The antique arms club is calling on Mayor Phil Goff for help to get the exhibit re-installed, but the museum says it might not be possible with space at a premium and the new exhibit now so close to completion. 

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