Gallipoli exhibition

Early morning queues outside Te Papa for the ‘Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War’ exhibition. Photo: Amy Jackman.

Amy Jackman, Gallipoli exhibition one of the most popular at Te Papa,, 27 April 2015

An estimated 20,000 people have poured into Te Papa‘s Gallipoli exhibition since it opened 10 days ago.

People have been lining up for Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War as soon as Te Papa opens its doors and often are waiting about two hours for entry.

More than 2000 have been through the exhibit daily during Anzac weekend, with only 200 allowed inside it at one time.

New York couple Ann Reed and husband Ted Valand waited 45 minutes to get in on Monday.

Both said it was worth the wait.

“It was well-balanced between not glorifying war and giving the young generations the chance to be educated on what it’s about,” said Valand, a Vietnam war veteran.

“It showed how significant the holiday is to you guys. It’s pretty amazing.”

Te Papa staff were greeting people at the museum’s entrance to tell them of the wait. Wellingtonians were encouraged to delay a few weeks because the exhibition was on for four years, so there was no rush.

Te Papa chief executive Rick Ellis said visitors had been good natured about the wait.

“We’ve had queues out the door, but we’ve had a lot of feedback that it’s worth it,” he said.

“The exhibition is having a profound emotional impact on people, and they’re taking time to immerse themselves in the stories and the detail.