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Mortar and fuse removed from Taupo Museum

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A two inch mortar and a fuse have been removed from Taupō Museum by the New Zealand Defence Force Bomb Control Unit this afternoon.

The alarm was raised shortly after 10am following a staff member discovering the two items in a collections holding area. It had clearly been there for some time and it was not obvious whether or not it had been decommissioned.

A call was made to police and the defence force for advice on the best way to dispose of it. The police requested the museum be evacuated and the immediate surrounding area cordoned off until the experts arrived to take a closer look.

Acting chief executive Tina Jakes said the bomb control team confirmed they had found a two inch mortar and an associated fuse. Both items had been stored separately. It was thought the item had been donated to the museum prior to a donations register being started.

"The experts said the discovery of mortars were reasonably common as they were quite often taken home from war as mementos," she said.

Head of community, culture and heritage Dylan Tahau praised the staff for their actions. "They followed the correct process by not disturbing the item and contacting the police as soon it was discovered," he said.

"We receive high volumes of donated items and while we now have a register, there are obviously some historical donations we need to work through," he said.

"We are thankful to the police and the defence staff who responded quickly. It was a real team effort and there was a good outcome."

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