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Carnival time at NPDC’s Puke Ariki with The Mechanical Circus

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Roll up, roll up! The Mechanical Circus is coming to NPDC’s Puke Ariki, and you have to see it to believe it!

The carnival hits town on Saturday 2 November when the Temporary Exhibition Gallery is transformed into a circus complete with circus tents, tests of strength, automated and moving mechanisms and other tricks to bamboozle the mind.

For ages five to 95 and everyone in between, Mechanical Circus features 20 interactive exhibits that put a modern twist on the golden days of fairgrounds and travelling circuses.

Museum Manager Colleen Mullin said The Mechanical Circus was a wonderful mix of science and technology and will be one of the most hands-on exhibitions ever to be held at Puke Ariki.

"Museums often have signs asking visitors not to touch the exhibitions but it’s the complete opposite with The Mechanical Circus," says Ms Mullin. "We are actively encouraging people to get hands on, press the buttons and explore the weird optical illusions.

"We’re looking forward to The Mechanical Circus bringing the carnival atmosphere of scientific wonder and amazement to NPDC’s Puke Ariki."

There will be a number of education programmes and events for the public to complement the exhibition which runs until 26 April 2020. Ms Mullin says they are expecting many repeat visits as people try to work out how the mechanical tricks work.

The exhibition is a collaboration between Holland’s Museum Boerhaave and the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre and has toured Europe before coming to New Zealand.

Puke Ariki Fast Facts:

 - Puke Ariki first opened on 15 June 2003.

- The total number of visitors to Puke Ariki and district libraries in the 2017/18 year was 801,703

- In that same period, Puke Ariki and community libraries issued 779,908 items. It is the world’s first purpose-built, fully integrated museum, library and visitor information centre.

- Puke Ariki has three long-term galleries (Te Takapou Whāriki, Taranaki Naturally and the Gallery of Taranaki Life) and components of these get changed out regularly.

- The temporary exhibition space shows touring exhibitions that are either curated in-house or brought in from other museums.

Te Pua Wānanga O Taranaki/Taranaki Research Centre is also housed at the site. 

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