Friday, 20 May 2016

Cook-voyage Case Opening

Curator Jeremy Coote discussing the Cook-voyage case with Sir David Attenborough

A few weeks ago the Cook-voyage case was formally opened by Sir David Attenborough at a special event coordinated by the University Development Office.  Sir David is one of the patrons of the Friends of the Pitt Rivers, and has a longstanding interest and enthusiasm for the work of the museum.

Sir David during his speech

In his speech, he spoke with great humour and insight about Joseph Banks and the Forsters who brought the objects to Oxford, and praised the many years of research on the collections by Curator Jeremy Coote and others which have led to this redisplay of 196 objects from the first and second voyages.  Sir David remarked that Cook's voyages catalogued 'the whole of man's interest in the environment' and that the objects collected 'served as a benchmark of human activities in the Pacific in the 18th century.'

We were very pleased to welcome to the event His Excellency Mr Sione Sonata Tupou, Acting High Commissioner of Tonga, as well as guests from some of the organisations who funded the case, including The DCMS Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund, and the Friends of the Pitt Rivers.  The evening was also an opportunity to welcome our new Director, Dr Laura Van Broekhoven.

From left to right: Jeremy Coote (Curator),  Ms Lin Richardson, (DCMS Wolfson),  Dr Laura Van Broekhoven, Sir David Attenborough, Professor Louise Richardson (Vice Chancellor, Oxford University), His Excellency Mr Sione Sonata Tupou

The new case