Bulletin 15: Welcome to 2017!

21 January

 

Guest for this bulletin: Suzette Meade 

Suzette is the president of the North Parramatta Residents Action Group. If you have not heard this lady speak, please invest 29 minutes and 19 seconds listening to http://bit.ly/2hBF94H - a brilliant exposition of the viewpoint of the people of Parramatta. I have nothing to add and indeed nothing to criticise.

Making our feelings known 

There remains no viable consultative mechanism where we can formally press our case for the retention of the Powerhouse Museum at Ultimo, but people are taking every opportunity to lobby the appropriate people, notably State MPs. The best option for other action that I can find at this time are the plans of the Greater Sydney Commission which has said that input will be welcome over the next few months. However, this is not a clear process: all we seem to be able to do is send an email or comment through the website www.gsc.nsw.gov.au  or direct email at engagement@gsc.nsw.gov.au or maybe call 1800 617 681 . They are ostensibly only interested in 'big picture' stuff, and I fear that our concerns will be fobbed off as being too minor for their consideration. Nevertheless, I think it is worth making a nuisance of ourselves in this regard.

But there is a bigger principle at stake than just the fight for the museum. Governments must take into account the expert opinion of people who have been deeply involved in . When stupid decisions are made and these inputs are ignored it is a recipe for disaster, not to mention civic unrest. (The most surprising people are ready to stand in front of the bulldozers if necessary!).  Please consider making your feelings known to the commission.

So what will happen next?

Overall I agree with the viewpoint that the government will most probably not formally abandon the project to 'move' the museum, despite the overwhelming arguments against this disastrous idea. However, in the next budget they will affirm support for the move, but there will be delays in planning and execution. This will continue for some years until the project can be quietly dropped when its protagonists have, most probably, moved from their posts of responsibility and can avoid making a public 'backflip'. Yet the 'move' idea is easy to abandon: the land proposed for the Parramatta site is at this stage not even purchased, and not much money has been wasted. The government would acquire merit, and save money, by following the ideas propounded by Suzette.

The museum needs to have its future at Ultimo determined as soon as possible. The process of the move is diverting attention from the proper development of the museum. However, there are some encouraging signs of development: for example, a refurbished 'Experimentations' section has opened, and it is pretty good.


May I specially recommend the current Egyptian exhibition,

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives

On now until 25 April 2017

Six interesting mummies that are still wrapped have been analysed with the latest imaging techniques, enabling curators and researchers virtually to reveal the secrets of the mummies while preserving and respecting their original condition.

The presentation of this exhibition is a collaboration between the British Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. The Australian curator is Melanie Pitkin, a brilliant young Egyptologist who has already a very impressive CV. This display is fascinating, and entirely appropriate to this museum of applied arts and sciences. Over 60 special volunteers have been recruited and trained, mainly from Macquarie University's Egyptology department, and they are on hand to give interesting expert insights to supplement the excellent signage and information of the display itself.

On now until 25 April 2017

Six interesting mummies that are still wrapped have been analysed with the latest imaging techniques, enabling curators and researchers virtually to reveal the secrets of the mummies while preserving and respecting their original condition.

The presentation of this exhibition is a collaboration between the British Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. The Australian curator is Melanie Pitkin, a brilliant young Egyptologist who has already a very impressive CV. This display is fascinating, and entirely appropriate to this museum of applied arts and sciences. Over 60 special volunteers have been recruited and trained, mainly from Macquarie University's Egyptology department, and they are on hand to give interesting expert insights to supplement the excellent signage and information of the display itself.

Well done, MAAS! - and can we mention that this is a display of national interest that must be in the most easily accessible site for everybody, not just for the people of Sydney.

[i

SAVE THE POWERHOUSE
Australia’s major museum of arts and sciences in Sydney’s most evocative heritage building. For more information
https://powerhousemuseumalliance.com/  See also: https://www.facebook.com/savepowerhousemuseum/  https://www.facebook.com/savethepowerhouse/  http://lockoweb.com/phm/