People will do anything for a Facebook photo, including climbing on top of a precious museum exhibit. This was the case at The Museum of Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand's national museum, located in Wellington.
A woman was witnessed climbing on one of the museum’s exhibits, a Britten V1000 motorcycle, according to Stuff New Zealand.
The bike is the pride of New Zealand, first launched in 1991, featuring innovations like extensive use of carbon fibre, an under-seat radiator, double wishbone front suspension, a frameless chassis and engine data logging. It could achieve a top speed of 303 km/h. The bike went on to win the Battle of the Twins in Daytona International Speedway's Daytona Bike Week festivities in the United States and set several world speed records. A total of only 10 Britten V1000s were produced. The example at Te Papa Museum is valued at US$463,000.
The scene was witnessed by one, Leon Watson, who was admiring the exhibit. Another museum visitor then proceeded to climb over the barrier, ignoring the signs warning visitors not to touch the exhibit.
She posed for a few photos taken by a companion, then climbed down, before claiming she was a close friend of the late John Britten, the New Zealand national who designed and built the record-setting bikes in Christchurch.
Watson reported the pair to museum staff. Te Papa spokesperson, Kate Camp, confirmed the incident and said the pair was spoken to by museum staff, who asked them to respect the museum's rules.
"It was dangerous, it was disrespectful and it was bloody stupid," Camp said.
"We've checked the bike over. There wasn't any visible damage."
There were no plans to put the motorbike behind glass, as there were already warnings advising against touching the exhibit. She hoped there would not be any repeats of the incident.
"[The Britten V1000] is my favorite exhibit at Te Papa. It's important to New Zealand. John Britten was a great engineer and that bike is a beautiful piece of artwork and ahead of its time technology-wise," said Watson