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New Zealand earthquake: Century-old time capsule found in ruins on Christchurch cathedral

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New Zealand earthquake: Century-old time capsule found in ruins on Christchurch cathedral
Curator of the Canterbury Museum Anthony Wright with the two time capsules Photo: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Two items – a glass bottle containing rolled-up parchment and a metal cylinder – were found in the plinth of a statue felled in last Tuesday's 6.3-magnitude earthquake in New Zealand, which is believed to have killed up to 240 people.Rescuers combing the site made the discovery Tuesday morning and immediately called in local museum staff to examine the artefacts."It's very poignant, very poignant indeed," said Anthony Wright, the director of the Canterbury cathedral.The items were in the base of a statue of John Robert Godley, the Irish founder of Christchurch, which was erected in 1867.Two words were visible on the parchment "by" and "erected" but it would not be properly unfurled until the capsule had been examined by experts and opened in a humidity-controlled museum environment to protect it from damage.Nothing was yet known about the contents of the metal tube.Mayor Bob Parker said the find could not have come at a more fitting time for the devastated city, which marked the first week since the quake with two minutes silence."I don't know what the words are because I don't want to try and unwrap them without proper conservation," Mr Parker said, "but I'm imagining it will tell us of the hopes and aspirations of the people of this city when it was founded.""Is there a better time to have that refreshed? I think it's miraculous."source

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