[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #A02F2F;”] T[/dropcap]his little gem of an anecdote about losing the key to case holding the precious Loch Ard peacock at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village gives an insight into some of the problems that have beset the museum in the recent past.
The Minton porcelain peacock – valued at $4 million in 2010 and no doubt worth even more now – is considered the jewel of the crown in the Flagstaff Hill collection.
Despite this, finding the key to its case can be a problem, not to mention moving it, because it is quite heavy.
Here is the anecdote in full from Flagstaff Hill manager Peter Abbott’s report to the Warrnambool City Council for its March meeting:
The unit that the Loch Ard peacock sits on stopped rotating. Whilst we don’t open the Peacock cabinet regularly it is quite an operation to do so.
The first attempt found that the key we used was not the right one – 2nd attempt found the peacock weighed a great deal more than we expected so we didn’t move it off the turntable, the third attempt we successfully moved the Peacock with a trolley donated by Matko hire.
The turntable will be sent to Bendigo for renewal with the company that built it 13 years ago.”
Why does this reading this make me shiver? Matko trolleys? Lost keys?
On another note, Bluestone often wonders if all of the missing Loch Ard lead ingots that were believed to be in the water under the now demolished Rowitta ever showed up? To date, the FHMV has not released an update.
And regular readers will also remember the FHMV will spend $2 million in state and council funds on a new sound and light show.
According to Mr Abbott’s report to the council, the tender for this project had been awarded, but council spokesman Nick Higgins told us this was not the case and a final provider was yet to be chosen. (Update: a tender has been awarded and is the same group that developed the current Shipwrecked show at the village).
Either way, the project was expected to start in July last year. It is now expected to be completed by early 2017.
Other good stuff: