Ned Kelly Vault Exhibition On Move


After six years of exhibition in the sub-treasury building, the Ned Kelly Vault Exhibition is leaving the Beechworth Historic Precinct.

The Exhibition, presenting aspects of the Ned Kelly and Kelly Gang story, was conceived through the collaborative efforts of independent curator Matt Shore, the late Kelly biographer, Ian Jones and the Burke Memorial Museum in 2014.

A collection of more than 150 artefacts makes up the exhibition, with the Burke Museum owning 20% of the collection and private collectors the remaining 80%, which represents the most extensive known private collection of Kelly artefacts, police and film/pop culture memorabilia in Australia.

Mr Shore and Mr Jones were integral to the collation of the privately owned collection objects and Mr Shore has brought his knowledge and passion for the Ned Kelly story to the exhibition project over the last six years.

Indigo Shire has provided the exhibition space, ticketing and marketing, professional curation and collection management and the necessary insurances for such a valuable collection of artefacts. More than 40 local volunteers have staffed the building pre-COVID closure, and they have welcomed more than 100,000 precinct visitors to the Ned Kelly Vault exhibition during its time in Beechworth.

Indigo Shire Council CEO, Trevor Ierino said more than 25,000 people a year visit the Historic Precinct and the Ned Kelly Vault exhibition has been a highly successful addition to the experience.

“The Burke Museum will retain all artefacts within its ownership for museum and precinct display and interpretation including significant items like Ned Kelly’s death mask, a series of telegrams documenting the trial in Melbourne, received at Beechworth’s Telegraph Station at the time of the trial, four sets of replica armour, an original ‘Wanted’ poster and more,” Mr Ierino said.

“We have been delighted to provide a home for this collection in collaboration with Mr Shore and the private collection owners and to give visitors to Beechworth the opportunity to view and learn from the exhibition. We understand Mr Shore’s vision for the privately owned collection to be displayed in a larger location, which will enable him to do justice to the entire collection and continue his role as ambassador for the collection on behalf of the private owners.”

“We wish him well with his endeavours and look forward to our ongoing relationship with him, recognising his passion for and knowledge of the Ned Kelly story and our joint commitment to sharing and developing Beechworth’s Kelly history. We also recognise the passion of our volunteers and will work with them to identify exciting opportunities as COVID restrictions ease,” Mr Ierino said.

Mr Shore added, “There is a high demand for the Kelly story throughout the region and I am extremely grateful to the volunteers, the owners of the artefacts and the staff of Indigo Shire. Our joint efforts have contributed to the success of the Ned Kelly Vault exhibition. The decision to close the Vault exhibition in the Historic Precinct is not a COVID-driven decision, rather an effort on my part to explore new opportunities for this nationally significant Kelly collection”.

/Public Release. View in full here.