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Final outlaws in place for world first

21 NOVEMBER 2003

Exotic objects telling the stories of outlaws from China and Japan will be installed at the National Museum in Canberra this Monday, four days out from the official opening of the new travelling exhibition, Outlawed!

The Asian shipment arriving this weekend includes the last of more than 500 objects from across the globe which go on show for the first exhibition to explore the facts and fiction surrounding the world's rebels, revolutionaries and bushrangers.

A curator from the Macau Art Museum will hand over 108 stunning ceramic figures, used in the exhibition to tell the story of the 12th Century Chinese Water Margin outlaws.

The armour of Kelly gang member Joe Byrne will also be installed on Monday along with a stage set model from the Tokyo National Theatre and a Kabuki theatre silk kimono used to represent Japanese outlaw Ishikawa Goemon.

"The Water Margin figures are mainly mythical, but they remain a classic of Chinese popular literature today," says head curator Joanne Duke. "And Goemon lives on in Japan's Kabuki theatre as well as in popular cartoons."

Outlawed! reveals the life and death of and our continuing fascination with national legends from nine countries, including many from Australia and America's Wild West.

WHAT: Installation of Chinese and Japanese Outlawed! material and Joe Byrne's armour

WHEN: 11am, Monday, 24 November

WHERE: The Hall, National Museum of Australia, Acton Peninsula, ACT

A full media preview of Outlawed! will also be held at the Museum on Thursday, 27 November at 11am.

Outlawed!, presented by Lockwood, is at the Museum until 26 April, 2004 and then travels to Melbourne.

For more information please contact Public Affairs Director Martin Portus on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or email m.portus@nma.gov.au