Whānau of Māori chief upset by sale of prized Goldie portrait

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A direct descendant of the Maori chief, depicted in one of Charles Goldie’s most precious paintings, said his ancestors were being exploited after the portrait was sold at auction for a record $ 1.8 million. I am.

A painting by Ngāpuhi Chief Kamariera TeHau Takiri Wharepapa was sold at the International Art Center in Auckland on Tuesday night.

Auction director Richard Thomson said it was one of New Zealand artists’ favorite works and was recorded as a gift to his wife Olive.

The portrait was originally sold to the Auckland family, but was put up for auction and Whānau tried to raise money for their own purchase.

Fale Papa’s great-granddaughter, Longo Mihi Curry, said he was running out of time.

“If the auction notification is very short, how can I raise the amount overnight?

“I was just surprised because there was no communication, and not only that, it’s our exploitation of Taonga.”

According to Thomson, Whānau had the opportunity to see the paintings before they were sold.

Read more: Charles Goldie’s chief painting sells for $ 1.8 million at auction

“They tried to raise money to buy the painting, but unfortunately they couldn’t. We invited them together and they spent time. In fact, it’s quite a lot for us all. It was an experience.

“We have always been sensitive to the descendants of Whānau, especially the subject of painting.”

Curry said he didn’t have to try to buy it back and should have returned it to Whānau instead.

“The painting of Koha returning to Whānau is the right move, and it’s absolutely devastating, rather than we buying our own Taonga. So Koha returns to Whānau. Where are we going abroad? I do not know.”

She hopes that this painting will be donated to museums and other places to reassure her Tupna (ancestors).

“Let it rest and hang it in one of the galleries that people can admire.”

Kamariera Te Hau Takiri Wharepapa’s portrait broke the record for Goldie’s portrait at the highest price ever sold.

The original record was set in 2021 and his painting, Hori Pokai, was sold at auction for $ 1.7 million.

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