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Now is the time to see Gold and the Incas in Canberra

March 13, 2014 Destination Global, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Last weekend was the 101st anniversary of the founding of Canberra – so a perfect time to visit the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) summer exhibition, Gold and the Incas: the lost worlds of Peru.

This enlightening and beautiful exhibition runs for a few more weeks – until 21 April 2014. As Canberra is the only city  in Australia the exhibition will visit, now is the time to see it, or to advise clients to do so. Exhibition visitors queue for chance to win Chimu Adventures luxury trip to Peru

I headed there last weekend, visiting the exhibition with my family and staying at the Crowne Plaza Canberra, which proved comfortable, hospitable and perfectly located to visit the NGA and other top Canberra attractions.

Gold and the Incas has generated considerable travel industry involvement. Last weekend, PromPeru, the Peruvian tourism organisation, erected a marquee from which Australia representative Manuela Nielsen and nine other staff promoted their organisation and tourism to Peru.

Exhibit from Gold of the Incas in Peru

A fiesta of music, art and dance – a free NGA community event in association with show – transformed the lawns of the NGA into a celebration of Latin American sights, sounds and tastes.

In the foyer of the NGA itself, people who had just visited the exhibition queued to participate in a promotion by the Australian specialist Latin America operator, Chimu Adventures, with a luxury trip to Peru as the prize.

Tigramuna band outside NGAInside the NGA, gold, silver, precious stones, textiles and ceramics from the Incan Empire and other mysterious cultures of ancient Peru are on display. The exhibition is all the more intriguing for twilight-style illumination which heightens the atmosphere (and preserves some of the delicate exhibits). More than 200 objects range from gold regalia and jewellery to elaborate embroidery and weaving.

The artisans of ancient Peru were highly skilled metalworkers, potters, carvers and weavers who incorporated into their creations religious and political motifs based on the natural world. Depictions of gods, animals, birds and fish decorate the works of art.

In ancient Peru, Chavín, Nazca, Huari and Moche cultures were succeeded by the Chimú, which was overcome by warriors of the Incan Empire, themselves conquered by the Spanish invaders in 1533.

The Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú and its fraternal collections, the Fundacion Museo Amano, the Museo Larco and the Museo Oro del Perú, have lent the works of art. Some object come from the collection of the National Gallery of Australia.

The Crowne Plaza Canberra hotel, overlooking Glebe Park, proved an ideal place to stay, light and spacious with super-comfortable beds, friendly service and a great breakfast. My son and I swam in the outdoor pool and briefly contemplated the wealth of exercise Bedroom Crowne Plaza 2014equipment in the gym before heading off to breakfast. The front desk staff and concierge were extremely helpful, pointing out the best way to reach the NGA and other Canberra attractions.

The Crowne Plaza Canberra is 2.5km from the NGA and the National Portrait Gallery – a short drive or pleasant walk. The hotel is two minutes’ walk from Canberra’s National Convention Centre and near the city’s many shops. I visited the shops (a camera store, specifically) after discovering that although I had brought my camera, I had left its memory card at home. After replenishing my memory (so to speak), off we went to Gold and the Incas.

Written by : Peter Needham

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