I AM AFRAID THAT MY SHOP WILL BE DEMOLISHED WITHOUT ANY ATTEMPT BEING MADE TO SALVAGE ANY OF THE IMPORTANT ITEMS WHICH REMAIN INTACT INSIDE.
I WAS INSIDE WHEN THE QUAKE STRUCK AND THE INTERIOR OF THE SHOP IS INTACT WITH MINIMAL DAMAGE TO ITEMS INSIDE. THERE IS NO DAMAGE TO THE CEILINGS AND NO DAMAGE TO THE WALLS DOWNSTAIRS.
I HAVE BEEN BACK INSIDE SEVERAL TIMES BUT THE ARMY HAS PREVENTED ME FROM REMOVING ANYTHING.
I WAS TOLD THAT ONCE A BULLDOZER HAD PUSHED IT OVER I COULD PICK THROUGH THE RUBBLE!!
THIS MUST NOT HAPPEN
IF YOU COULD EMAIL ME YOUR SUPPORT REGARDING SALVAGE I COULD USE THAT TO CONVINCE THE AUTHORITIES TO ALLOW ME TO SALAVAGE IMPORTANT ITEMS
I recieved this encouraging email from Jennifer Queree, History Curator, Canterbury Museum
I caught a glimpse of your shop on the late TV One news tonight – I’m so very sorry. I just went on your blog site (http://portobelloantiques.blogspot.com/ ) and was much relieved to see that you and Tracy survived – it must have been an absolutely horrific experience!
I am copying this to Anthony Wright – I am not sure if he can assist or advise any solution to threats of demolition without a chance of salvage, but perhaps he can use his influence.
Not only will your shop hold artefacts of considerable local, national and international importance, but you have been such a support to people from all over Christchurch and Canterbury since 4 Sept by offering free valuations for damaged treasures – while others have taken advantage of the situation to charge exorbitant rates. I would hope that Christchurch could now return the favour if at all possible, by giving you the chance to salvage what is left.
Over the years you have been a keen supporter of Canterbury Museum and other major museums in New Zealand, collecting and protecting many irreplaceable cultural objects, and alerting us to them. I was thrilled several years ago when Canterbury Museum acquired a number of important silver and other items of considerable importance for the cultural history of Christchurch and Canterbury, from the collection that you had built up over many years.
Deric – I do hope all works out for you – let me know how you get on, if/when you have a moment.
IF ANYONE CAN HELP I WOULD APPRECIATE IT
From Crispin Howarth
Curator Pacific Arts
The National Gallery of Australia
To the Honorable Mr Finlayson,
Within the tragedies currently unravelling in Christchurch there is one looming tragedy you have the power to prevent happening.
Mr Deric Blackler the proprieter of Portobello Antiques at 221 Tuam St (ph 03 3771 772 or 03 930 1155 email email@example.com in Christchurch experienced the events of last week whislt in his premises and luckily on this occasion neither he or his wife came to any harm. They evacuated from the area only to be informed that Mr Blackler will not be allowed to return to the property to retrieve items within.
Alledgedly the building, although standing with minimal damage to it, is to be bulldozed.
I can only point out in the clearest terms that to not attempt to retrieve key objects in Mr Blackler's possession at the property will mean objects of New Zealand's hertiage will be wilfully destroyed.
Mr Blackler is one of only a few people in New Zealand who holds objects of national significance to your country outside of an insitution.
To do nothing is a neglectful option.
I am writing to you in the hope that your department will contact and assist Mr Blackler at this dire time.
Public Museums and Galleries have systems and organisational back up. An individual does not - and for this reason I request you assist Mr Blackler in the action of retrieving objects upon his property of significance.
This destruction of important historical objects held with Mr Blackler is preventable with your aid.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
My thoughts are with the citizens of Christchurch.
Curator for Pacific Arts
The National Gallery of Australia
HERE IS ANOTHER
As a Lincoln resident I am emailing you as my MP in the hope that you will have time to read the following.
My good friend Deric Blackler owns Portobello Antiques at 221 Tuam Street, Christchurch and lives above the shop. The contents of the building are largely undamaged but Deric faces the threat of demolition without the chance of salvaging anything.
If this were just another antique shop I would not dream of bothering you at a time like this, but Deric’s collection is a unique assembly of cultural treasures bearing witness to the fact that he has the keenest intelligence and historical enthusiasm of any antique dealer I have ever known. Many senior figures in Christchurch’s art gallery and museum communities will vouch for this and have emailed their concern and support to him, as can be seen on his blog, http://portobelloantiques.blogspot.com/ .
I believe that if Deric were to lose the contents of his building it would be another nail in the coffin of Christchurch as a city worth rebuilding and living in. If there is anything you can do to allow Deric permission to salvage, you will be helping to save a collection of internationally significant cultural, artistic and heritage value.
With thanks and hope
Lincoln University Library
THANKS ALSO TO FRAN DIBBLE AND SIAN van DYK
Hope this helps! Please see Dibbles letter attached. If you want to post on your blog they say all good!
Thinking of you all, kia kaha xo
March 3, 2011
Dear Chris Finlayson,
We write this letter to lend our support in helping Deric Blacker, director of Portobello Antiques, retrieve some of his artefacts from the cordoned area of central Christchurch.
Portobello is not simply a shop of antiques but has been the site of priceless historical and cultural relics, which certainly cannot be judged on just monetary value. The treasures he has managed to amass are often superior to much that is held at out art galleries and museums.
We ask that you could, as Minister of the Arts, do anything you can to help allow Deric to salvage some of the precious relics left, which must be all the more valuable after the tremendous loss from the earthquake.
Dr Paul Dibble and Fran Dibble
just a quick email, I thought you guys might be interested, or might like to
help / post something. As you know Deric Blacker's shop is in a pretty dodgy
spot at the moment and apparently ahs been having trouble salvaging some things.
Hope all is well otherwise and that any family/ friends you have down there
Can you add my name to the list regarding the historical significance
of your collection and that it must be saved.
Add to this my offer of the truck and Gerard to help any day you can
get clearance to enter the shop.
It seems there is a wholesale approach to demolition which is crazy.
Also if you need storage we can get a container into the yard at
Cumnor Tce where there is security.
Hope you are getting some forward movement on this.
Also you and Tracy are surviving etc.
Cheers Andrew Drummond
More messages of support
It would just be such an awful waste if the precious, beautiful things in Portobello were bulldozed.
Hasn't there been enough destruction of valuable history thanks to the quake itself?
Please, Christchurch 'powers that be'; don't let this h...appen!
This is what is getting my goat up. the lack of room for the individual in this plan. let the man take his stuff out. it's what makes his life important so help him with it.
Yeah haven't we have our hearts ripped out enough without this kind of thing happening to those who helped give the city it's heart in the first place!!? It's a travesty
We need our city to return to normal as soon as possible, keeping
Businesses going and preserving our heritage is part of this. Please
enable businesses to get their stock when it is possible and safe to
do so ,other businesses were demolished without removing valuable items
in the last Quake, don't let this happen again.....
i hope Im not too late with my email. To demolish the shop without the chance to rescue any valuable irreplaceable items is ridiculous .Even though the shop is damaged there must surely be contents that are salveable without risk of life . perhaps there are some items where it would be too dangerous to rescue but i cant believe it can be necessary to totally destroy the lot. You cant snap your fingers and bring back antique items from rubble we are losing our history and for future generations. .
I have already heard about the loss of a beautiful georgian antque bureau handed down through the family just because a bulldozer came in and demolsihed part of the hosue where it was and it was deemed too dangerous to move.. a bit more time if possible maybe an hour or two and a thought process might have been put in place to try and move that bureau out of the way and a precious piano also lost but i giess where abulldozer is concerned and if something is in the path then thats it .
Well . thats just one family and there are many situations out there similar but this shop and many others need consideration. please stop this reckless bulldozing.
Patricia Te Arapo Wallace
I write this message in support of allowing Mr Deric Blackler, the proprieter of Portobello Antiques at 221 Tuam St, of Christchurch, an opportunity to retrieve some of the precious artefacts from his establishment in the cordoned area of central Christchurch.
Mr Blacker is not asking for officials or others to help him. I understand he has previously been allowed back in the premises; he is simply asking for a chance to rescue any possible items by not being forced to come out empty-handed.
The city has lost enough treasures; I urge that in this case, this one man be given a chance to save whatever he can, rather than be obliged to merely salvage whatever the wreckers might leave.
Patricia Te Arapo Wallace
Patricia Te Arapo Wallace Ph.D.
Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies,
University of Canterbury,
I am glad to hear that you are Ok but I have just seen photos of your shop and read your pleas to help with salvage.
A few weeks ago I was in your shop and I was amazed by your campaign furniture and felt that it was such a privelige when you showed me the campaign desk, its working and explained the history behind it.
I do hope that you managed to safely salvage the precious treasures in your shop and are able to continue your wonderful business
MR ROOKLYN AND VAN LOWE
4 years ago