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5 September 2005

An anchor from explorer Matthew Flinders' ship Investigator is being unveiled in Canberra this week as part of a new exhibition opening at the National Museum later this year.

Details of the exhibition, Captivating and Curious, will be revealed at a media launch at the Museum's Mitchell store on Thursday, which marks 25 years since the passing of the NMA Act on 8 September 1980.

The anchor, which is three metres long and weighs about 400 kilograms, is part of the National Museum collection but has never been seen in Canberra. It was on loan to the Western Australian Maritime Museum for 20 years. The anchor was cut loose off the coast of Esperance during Flinders' 1803 voyage.

It is one of many rare objects going on show in Captivating and Curious, which traces the history of how the Australian Government began building the National Historical Collection long before the passage of the Act and the opening of the National Museum at Acton in 2001.

National Museum director Craddock Morton, senior curators as well as conservation and registration staff will be at the media launch to provide briefings on the exhibition and some of the 450 objects going on show.

WHAT: Captivating and Curious media launch

WHEN: 11.00am, Thursday 8 September 2005

WHERE: National Museum of Australia Repository, 90 Vicars Street, Mitchell

Captivating and Curious will be on show in the Temporary Gallery at the National Museum of Australia from 14 December 2005 to 17 April 2006. Entry is free.

For interviews and striking images please contact Sandy Forbes on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or Leanda Coleman on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or email

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