The Australian Museum has a large collection of big canoes, totem poles and other long items. In 2006 , these had to be moved offsite to make way for the new zoology building which prevented anything longer than 5 metres being stored in the building. Fortunately the Powerhouse Museum generously provided temporary space for these large items.
Plans are currently underway to build a large new storage facility to be shared by the Australian Museum, Powerhouse and Historic Houses Trust of NSW at the Castle Hill site, which currently houses much of the Powerhouse Museum’s collections.
In preparation for the new building, the current store was cleared to allow for its demolition and replacement. The canoes were hung by straps from 6 meter high racking which required delicate use of a forklift and straps to access them. With a combination of muscle power and a forklift we moved them up the hill to a temporary home in another building.
It was great to see the detail on these beautifully crafted objects in daylight briefly. The new stores will allow for tours so that the public can view these rarely seen objects. It is due for completion around 2015-16.