Stratford's art community will host a Te Papa travelling exhibition featuring a set of 400-year-old Rembrandt etching prints.
From the end of the month, 10 of the prints will be on display as part of the Rembrandt and his Peers collection.
The exhibition features 27 works dating back to the 17th century and the Percy Thomson Gallery is one of only four in New Zealand with the right to show them.
Gallery director Sue Morton said it was a rare privilege and the prestigious and valuable collection was already the talk about town.
Mrs Morton said the rules around the exhibition were strict meaning only those galleries with the right space and security were considered. She expected art enthusiasts from as far away as Hamilton and Whanganui to make the pilgrimage to the gallery for the month-long showing.
Yet the works come with a hefty burden.
"No-one wants to be the person who damages one," she said. "You can't replace them."
She said the 17th century was the golden age of art in the Netherlands bolstered by enormous wealth and a thriving economy.
Te Papa's European art curator Vicki Robson will be at the official opening of the exhibition, on Monday at 7.30pm, to discuss the history of the pictures.
Last year, the gallery was one of only three venues to showcase Drawn from Italy: Mantegna to Kauffmann, which featured 600-year-old art.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Should the NPDC councillors get iPads?Related story: Tech-wary councillors hedge their bets