New Zealand announces plans to conserve Edmund Hillary’s Antarctic hut

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Agencies

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced a plan to conserve mountaineer, explorer and philanthropist and one of the first persons to climb Mount Everest, Edmund Hillary’s hut in Antarctica, on Tuesday.

Hillary and Nepalese mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953. He was also the first person to reach both the North and the South Poles.

Hillary’s Hut, known as Hut A, is part of New Zealand’s first scientific facility at Scott Base and is recognised as a historic monument under the Antarctic Treaty. It is the original remaining building established for the country’s involvement in the Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1955-58 and the International Geophysical Year 1957-58.

Prime Minister John Key announced the plan to conserve Hillary’s Hut at an event hosted by Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry, the New Zealand Herald reported. The event involved surviving members of the Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-58 and the International Geophysical Year 1957-58 and members of Hillary’s family.

The conservation plan for the hut was written by a team of authors under the leadership of conservation architect Chris Cochran, and peer reviewed by international experts. In 2012, the trust signed a memorandum of understanding with Antarctica New Zealand to manage the conservation work, including all fundraising for the site.

Work will commence in the Antarctic summer of 2016-17 subject to the trust securing funds.