Today the AM was delighted to welcome the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare and his wife Madam Emmy Sogavare.
AM Director and CEO Kim McKay guided Prime Minister Sogavare and a small delegation on a tour to showcase the longstanding connection between the Australian Museum and the Solomon Islands, both scientific and cultural.
In the Australian Museum Research Institute, Professor Tim Flannery, Dr Rebecca Johnson and Dr Sandy Ingleby shared with Prime Minister Sogavare the outcomes of the AM's 2016 Solomon Islands Expedition and ongoing work with communities in Malaita.
Begining with a moving PNG welcome from AM's West Pacific Collection Manager Michael Mel, the Prime Minister then toured the world class Pacific Spirit gallery to view some treasures of the Musuem's Solomon Islands collection.
During the visit, the Prime Minister may have also solved a mystery of a collection item AM staff believed was a water drum — though records held little information on the object. The Prime Minister informed us he believes it is more likely to be a mortar missing its pestle!
During the visit, Prime Minister Sogavare commented “If it wasn’t for the Australian Museum preserving these objects – our culture could be lost,” — a poignant reminder of the importance of preserving collections from across the Pacific region.