A welcome distraction: that may be how residents of Christchurch — the New Zealand city devastated by an earthquake on February 22, 2011 — choose to look at the discovery of three time capsules during clean up of the damage. Two of the capsules were found underneath a bronze statue of Christchurch founder, John Robert Godley, which was toppled in the quake.
Details of the contents remain hush-hush amidst growing curiosity among the public. Mayor Bob Parker wants to ensure that whatever is inside is preserved as best as possible. The contents are being handed over to a local museum. Museum director, Anthony Wright, did have a comment, however:
The time capsule smells a bit like blue cheese and we can make out two words – “by” and “erected.”
A crane driver clearing rubble was responsible for the discovery, which was eventually handed over directly to Mayor Parker. While it is uncertain when the time capsules were buried there, speculation is that it could have been one of two times — when the statue was first erected in 1867 or in 1933 when the statue was returned to its original location after being moved in 1918.
A third capsule was found under the cross that came off the Christchurch Cathedral. The cornerstone was laid in 1864. As of March 3, the death toll from the devastating earthquake reached 163.
[Image: NZ Defence Force / Flickr]