Prominent museum director remembered

Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern today expressed sorrow at the death of highly-regarded museum director Thérèse Angelo.

“Thérèse made a tireless and substantial contribution to the New Zealand heritage sector, and wider Canterbury community, during her career.

“With more than three decades’ experience in the museums sector, she was a widely-respected figure, which was richly deserved given her many accomplishments.

“Therese joined the Air Force Museum in 1987, initially as Research Director, before being appointed Collections Manager and, in 2002, was named as the first civilian Director. During her career, she also served on the boards of a number of heritage organisations, including Museums Aotearoa, which she chaired for several years.

“Her contributions were recognised with the Museums Aotearoa Individual Achievement Award in 2010, and she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2011.”

Jacinda Ardern said Thérèse was an extraordinary role model in the museums sector, and would be much missed.

“As Director of the Air Force Museum, her determined efforts in response to the Canterbury earthquakes were inspirational. She, and the Museum’s Board, demonstrated enormous kindness, innovation and ingenuity in opening up the Museum to Canterbury’s displaced community.

“The evacuation and salvage of homeless cultural collections was a crucial contribution to Canterbury’s cultural recovery; but the Museum provided so much more in hosting a huge range of organisations and events for the wider community.

“Her leadership and determination also led to the establishment of the temporary Canterbury Cultural Collections Recovery Centre, which operated from the Museum’s premises for six years.

“Her generosity of spirit inspired many others to personally and professionally recover from the terrible impact of the earthquakes.

“Thérèse also made a significant contribution to the work of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Her support and advice for initiatives ranging from Te Ara, the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, to the First World War Centenary programme, was highly valued.”

Jacinda Ardern extended her deepest sympathy to Thérèse’s family, colleagues and friends.

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