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A statue at the heart of a Bishop Museum exhibit is now heading to Rapa Nui

The replica was the star of the Bishop Museum exhibit.
The replica was the star of the Bishop Museum exhibit.(Bishop Museum (custom credit))
Updated: May. 28, 2019 at 3:30 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -After a successful run of the Bishop Museum exhibit, “Rapa Nui: The Untold Stories of Easter Island,” the centerpiece of the display is now being gifted across the Pacific Ocean.

A full sized 3-D fiberglass model of the moai (statue) Hoa Hakananai‘a stood on display until early May.

It served to attract and educate visitors about the history and mysteries of Easter Island.

It was an intricate replica of the original 8-foot tall moai Hoa Hakananai‘a which is housed at the British Museum. The back of the statue is covered in petroglyphs that depict ancient gods.

The original statue was gifted to Queen Victoria in the 1860s, according to Bishop Museum. In 2012, researchers used photogrammetry to create a digital model of the statue, which was then placed at the heart of the Bishop Museum display.

“The intention in creating the full-scale model for the ‘Rapa Nui: The Untold Stories of Easter Island’ exhibition was to help the public understand the significance of these megalithic statues and to honor this moai in particular," Bishop Museum Ethnology Collections Manager Dr. Alice Christophe said.

The replica is now being gifted from the museum to the community of Rapa Nui where it will be on display at the Toki Integrated Development Center. A group of representatives from the museum will make the presentation in Rapa Nui on May 30.

"It is part of a larger initiative to celebrate Rapa Nui and its close ties to Hawai‘i as we continue to work with the Rapanui community,” Christophe added.

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