Olympic legend Sir Peter Snell is donating 14 of his most prized possessions to Te Papa Museum, including two Olympic gold medals.

As well as medals, Snell is also donating his handmade right shoe he wore to win gold at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games.

The shoe was made by running coach Arthur Lydiard.

The donation comes nearly a year after a controversial auction at the museum for a singlet Snell was thought to have worn at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964.

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It turned out the singlet was fake but the winning bid totalling nearly $140,000 by millionaire businessman Chris Liddell and Te Papa boss Rick Ellis was anything but.

Snell's latest donation will be a formal affair at the museum on Tuesday April 18, kicking off with a private powhiri at Te Papa's marae for Snell, his wife, two daughters and two granddaughters, before the display is opened.

The three items will be on show at Te Papa from April 18 until July 23, and all fourteen items will be part of New Zealand's national history collection in perpetuity.

Ellis said the museum was humbled by Sir Peter's decision to donate the items to the national collection.

"Te Papa is incredibly excited to receive these pieces of our sporting history, and be able to share them with New Zealanders," Mr Ellis said.

"We are looking forward to welcoming Sir Peter and his family onto our marae, and celebrating his gift to the nation."

Rick Ellis said Snell was excited about the opportunity to share the items, and their stories, with young New Zealanders.

Te Papa History Curator Stephanie Gibson with the collection of items up for auction. Photo / Te Papa Tongarewa
Te Papa History Curator Stephanie Gibson with the collection of items up for auction. Photo / Te Papa Tongarewa

"As well as seeing these items up close and personal in the museum, Te Papa can bring Peter Snell's story to life, using video and digital storytelling," Ellis said.

"Every kid in New Zealand will be able to get a taste of the determination and grit that took Sir Peter Snell to the top."

Te Papa History Curator Stephanie Gibson says the items are incredibly significant for New Zealand.

"These objects represent not only the pinnacle of Sir Peter's career, but the absolute pinnacle of New Zealand's sporting history."

Gibson has been working closely with Sir Peter to put arrangements in place for the donation.

"Sir Peter has been so generous with his time and we are really humbled that he has chosen Te Papa as the place to care for these treasured items," Gibson said.

Along with the three prized items, Snell is donating three world record plaques, the tankard for the mile world record in Whanganui, 1962, New Zealand Sportsman of the Year Award trophy, 1960 and 1964, Sydney Olympic Games torch, 2000, as well as Commonwealth Games medals and insignia relating to him obtaining a New Zealand Order of Merit and other awards.

Sir Peter Snell's famous right shoe which he wore to win gold at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games. Photo / Te Papa Tongarewa
Sir Peter Snell's famous right shoe which he wore to win gold at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games. Photo / Te Papa Tongarewa