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Live and Loud . . . South Canterbury Museum Director Philip Howe with the current exhibition focused on Timaru's rock history. PHOTO: GEORGE CLARK

by George Clark

A call for contributions has come from South Canterbury Museum director Philip Howe following lockdown Levels 4 and 3.

The nationwide lockdown was an unprecedented event in New Zealand’s history and he planned to document it, with the public’s help, Mr Howe said.

“We want to document and showcase the lockdown for Timaru at some point in the future, collecting material like ‘closed due to Covid-19’ signs and anything the community would like to donate.”

Entry protocols had been set up for contact tracing during Level 2 and there were labelled, designated routes throughout the building to ensure a safe experience, Mr Howe said.

Some interactive displays had been removed to avoid excess touching and those that remained would be cleaned regularly.

The museum aimed to ensure returning visitors felt the highest degree of safety and comfort, Mr Howe said.

“It is our No1 priority for the community to feel safe, be safe and provide a pleasant experience. We will be keeping an eye on numbers so not to exceed 50 people in the museum at any one time.”

The “Live and Loud” exhibition, a snapshot of Timaru’s rock scene in the 1980s and ’90s that opened in mid-February, would be extended instead of showing a Te Papa bird exhibition that had been planned.

“As the museum has been shut for the last eight weeks we have extended it out until early July

“The museum is just as it was – we want tou to come back, we want you to have fun exploring, minus a few things in place for safety.”

The next exhibition will be a 150-year celebration of Timaru’s fire service.