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Rutherford Den Reopened

Five years on from  the earthquakes which lead to its closure, Rutherford’s Den is restored to again welcome visitors and engage young minds. 


Re-opened in August , 2016, new interactive features have created a unique experience and transformed the space.

“Rutherford’s Den was popular with both schools and tourists before the earthquakes, and its closure was treated as an opportunity to completely transform the space, says Arts Centre Chief Executive André Lovatt.

“We’ve carefully kept the beautiful heritage features but have injected the space with new energy by using state-of-the-art storytelling techniques that will appeal to people of all ages.

“The original timber benches that date from 1877 were removed after the earthquakes, stored on-site and then craned back through the windows. They are in the exact position they came from and still have their original graffiti. The digital blackboard at the front of the room is really the only clue that it’s been completely strengthened and refurbished.”

It’s a wonderful reconstruction. Anyone visiting Christchurch interested in Rutherford’s life, and his achievements, will enjoy a visit to the ‘new’ Den.


Rutherford was to go from here to  make his impact on  science, achieve eminence and contribute to   the  technological developments we benefit from today.

And to think it all began with a lad heading sketchoff to school at Foxhill…Ernest Rutherford as a child

Thank you to the Arts Centre for providing  information and photos.
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