Capsule to be opened soon

MICHAEL WRIGHT
Last updated 08:42 30/03/2011

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The second secret of Christchurch's John Robert Godley statue should be revealed next month.

Two capsules were found underneath the toppled statue of the man considered the founding father of Canterbury after last month's quake.

One was a glass bottle with a hand-written note detailing the statue's shift to a site beside Christ Church Cathedral in 1918.

The other was a sealed copper tube.

Canterbury Museum director Anthony Wright said it planned to hold a public unveiling of the cylinder as soon as the museum's laboratories were open.

"We want to have the controlled conditions of the conservation lab as a backdrop to it," he said. "It's just a safety net, I suppose.

"If we find what's inside is extremely crumbly, we might need to take some sort of action."

Wright said the museum had weathered the quake well and planned to reopen the labs about April 11.

It was hoped Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker would open the capsule.

The "fairly hefty" copper pipe was 40 centimetres long and 12cm in diameter. "It feels like it's full of stuff to me," Wright said.

The Godley statue, which was unveiled in 1867, had been moved twice. It was shifted back to its current site in 1933.

Wright said it was thought the capsule contained a record of events between those years.

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- The Press

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