Some Facts on this Ball inside the entrance
The large ball inside Te Papa’s main entrance is called the Sponsorship Recognition Stone. It acknowledges Te Papa’s founding sponsors.
* is 1.4 billion years old – the oldest material in Te Papa
* is made from gabbro (a coarse crystalline basalt often called Swedish Ebony Granite) from Transvaal, South Africa
* sits on a base stone of Indian Hassan Green Granite
* weighs 0.79 tonnes
* measures 82 centimetres in diameter
* was machined by the Kusser Granit company in Germany.
Low-pressure water from a 500-litre tank provides the power to rotate the ball. The layer of water between ball and base is just 0.2 millimetres thick. Solenoid-controlled jets pulse the water to keep the ball moving when no one is pushing it. For hygiene reasons, the water is treated with swimming-pool chemicals and changed weekly.