No new panels have been added to New Zealand's AIDS Memorial Quilt for seven years, and many of the quilt panels - now almost 20 years old - are damaged and dirty, says quilt guardian Michael Bancroft. Quilt guardian: Michael Bancroft Ongoing storage of the quilt, which currently costs over $1,000 a year in a temperature-controlled facility, was on the agenda for discussion last night at a Quilt Project meeting at the NZ AIDS Foundation's Auckland HQ, attended by twenty concerned LGBT community members. "Our quilt panels have been flown around New Zealand regularly for memorial services and events," explains Bancroft. "So they are now showing signs of wear and tear. They're dirty, and some of the paint and decorations are falling off a few, but they're not falling apart just yet." The last time the entire quilt was displayed was in Auckland's Aotea Square in 2001. In the nineties, New Zealanders were dying of AIDS-related illnesses at a rate of 50 per year. The Quilt Project has been given $2,000 by the Gay Auckland Business Association to begin work on a website which would display photos of the quilt's individual panels along with tributes. Once photographing of the panels is complete, the entire quilt can be stored in a museum or archive, while the photos can be presented on screens at future memorial services. At last night's meeting, a small group of volunteers expressed interest in working on the new Quilt Project website and work towards secure storage of the quilt for future generations to access.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News Staff
First published: Wednesday, 13th May 2009 - 2:23pm
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