History & heritage  |  11 Mar 2020

About 100 tributes left across the city in the wake of the mosque attacks have found a new home at Canterbury Museum.

Staff have worked with Christchurch’s Muslim community to select a special museum collection from the thousands of tributes placed across the region.

Fifty-one people died and many more were injured in the shootings at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre on 15 March last year.

Survivor Jumayah Jones, who has helped select the tributes, says the museum is the best place to house the items as the Muslim community can access the tributes in the future.

“The months after the attacks were very busy for our community and many of us did not have as much time as we would have liked to engage with the tributes,” she says.

“When I see all the work that went into these tributes, I feel loved and supported. I feel like the wider community has our backs. I feel the aroha.

“Having them in the museum means members of our community can see them whenever they are ready to.”

The tributes include flowers, cards, letters, banners, toys, artworks, craft projects, items of personal significance and other objects.

Museum Curator, Special Projects, Daniel Stirland says it has been a challenge to choose from the thousands of tributes.

“The final selection represents the diversity of the tributes in terms of media and source, but also the emotions that they evoke and the stories behind them where they were known,” Mr Stirland says.

Museum Director Anthony Wright says it is important to preserve the tributes so that the Muslim and wider Canterbury community can access the items.

“Hopefully, this will ensure that when we remember this awful act of hatred, we also remember the outpouring of love, compassion and solidarity that followed it,” he says.

Several smaller tributes are on display alongside UNITY, an artwork by Simone Johnstone (aka The Flower Girl).

It has been created from colourful plastic wrapping salvaged from the floral tributes.

UNITY is on display in the Museum Visitor Lounge on Level 3 until 22 March.