Topic: Arts

Lindauer exhibition strengthens ties between Czech Republic and NZ

By Dean Nathan

The connection between the peoples of the Czech Republic and New Zealand has strengthened following the spiritual return of Gottfried Lindauer to his homeland and the opening of an exhibition of his work. 

It’s the final day for the New Zealand contingent in Pilsen in the Czech Republic and there is no more important task at hand for them today than guiding the local people around the exhibition of our ancestors who line the walls.

Here the kiwi feathered cloak of Eru Tamaikoha Te Ariari from Ngāi Tūhoe is the focus of this group guided by his descendant.

Ngahiraka Mason says, “My heart is joyful because I have seen the passion of the people of Pilsen for Lindauers' work and for us the Māori people.”

The hospitality of the locals is such that it’s as though the New Zealand contingent are at home.

Liz Ellis says, “They're so hospitable.  They have been wonderful.  We know because of their warmth that this exhibition will be a success.  We hope so for them and we know that they treasure the portraits, they love what’s here.”

Patu Hohepa says, “They are all represented here and when you look you know their ancestors are there beyond but in the forefront are their children and grandchildren and that’s us.”

Like Māori, the Czech people are humble and enjoy eating together and meeting as one and the connection between us and the Czechs has only strengthened with the homecoming of Gottfried Lindauer and his work.

Ngahiraka Mason says, “They are good people and they will take good care of Linduaers works and we’ll leave them here knowing that.”