Friday, July 05, 2013

Artefacts of PNG find their way home

Papua New Guinea's National Museum and Art Gallery is preparing to take possession of more than 300 sculptures, art works and cultural artefacts which are being returned to the country by a former resident.
It's the single largest donation in the museum's history.

Artefact from Milne Bay Province
Photo: Artefact from Milne Bay Province from the Mr Keleny collection. (Supplied: University of Sydney)
92-year-old Gabriel Keleny has decided to return the vast collection acquired over the thirty years he spent living and working in PNG.

Australia's Macleay Museum has the task of cataloguing the works before they're shipped back to Port Moresby.
Senior Curator Jude Philp told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat it's an astonishing collection.
Gulf Province artefact
Photo: Artefact from Gulf Province from the Mr Keleny collection. (Supplied: University of Sydney)
"It is a real variety of art styles and cultural materials made by people across Papua New Guinea," she said.
"The national museum of Papua New Guinea put up their hand and said yes, this is something we would really like."
Between three and four hundred sculptures, art works and other cultural artefacts have been donated to the museum by Mr Keleny, who came from Hungary and settled in PNG after the second world war.
During that time he collected an astonishing array of art and artefacts from all over the country.
Students from the University of Sydney will spend the next week cataloguing the collection under the supervision of curators from the Macleay Museum before they're shipped to Port Moresby.
They're not expected to appear on display until 2014.

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