By Isaac Solomona, Editor of Debates

The Flanders Field Museum in Ypres, Belgium wants to complete the “Empty Chairs” collection come the end of this year. Earlier in the year the museum invited a chair to be donated by 120 other nations who lost men and women in Belgium during the Great War (1914-18).  This is part of the centenary of the Armistice, or the end of the war, in November 2018.


Atamira, seat used mainly by traditionalchiefs.

The exhibition was to end after the centenary of the Armistice Day, in November 2018 but the invite was extended to other countries who are still to donate achair to the museum and the Cook Islands is one of the many. 

The DHL EXPRESS sponsorship deal for transporting the chairs to the Belgium museum is ending at the end of this year.  It is therefore very urgent to identify a chair for the Cook Islands donation.

The Cook Islands have identified a traditional ‘atamira’ chair to be donated to the empty chair exhibition and the Parliament of the Cook Islands has generously volunteered to surrender the atamira at their entrance door towards the Belgium museum permanent WWI exhibition.

Meitaki Maata to the Speaker and Clerk of Parliament for this grand donation towards the Cook Islands contribution and partaking in this dedicatory exhibition to honour our brave ancestors who participated in the great war.


‘Empty Chair’ WWIexhibition in Ypres, Belgium