Jackson, Te Papa team up for WWI tribute

Last updated 14:25 27/05/2013

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The squalour and sacrifice of trench warfare will be brought to life with the help of two film industry giants to mark the centenary of World War I. 

Director Sir Peter Jackson and Weta Workshop effects wizard Sir Richard Taylor have teamed up with Te Papa to recreate a gritty "trench experience" as part of the WWI centenary commemorations.

"It was in the trenches that the Anzac spirit was born. The centenary is a significant event for New Zealand and I'm looking forward to working with Te Papa to tell the Anzac story," Jackson said.

More than 18,000 Kiwis were killed in action and 55,000 were wounded during WWI, which raged from 1914 to 1918. 

The Quinn's Post trench, the most famous position in the Anzac line on Gallipoli will be recreated, Te Papa chief executive Michael Houlihan said. 

''Our aim is to make the experience as realistic as possible, bringing home the detail of the unimaginable horror and squalid day-to-day existence. But above all, the exhibition will remember the bravery and sacrifice of all the men who fought and those who died in the war. This will be a uniquely powerful experience of our history," he said.

The exhibit was aimed at deepening understanding of the terror Kiwi soldiers experienced fighting at such close quarters.

"We are looking forward to the challenge of creating visuals that do justice to such a horrific time for our New Zealand soldiers.  It's also a privilege to be involved in such a significant project with Te Papa, which honours those who fought in this battle," Taylor said. 

Te Papa's centennial programme is themed around conflict and its impact on people and societies, with a particular focus on how conflict has shaped New Zealand nationhood and identity over the past thousand years.

The schedule also includes an outreach programme, Kiwi Faces of World War I, to identify soldiers photographed just before they went to war and an illustrated book by Te Papa Press based on original research highlighting the impact of war on the home front.

The free exhibition will open in time for the centenary of the Gallipoli invasion in April 2015.

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- The Dominion Post

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