Close eye kept on new li­brar y weta

Central Leader - - News -

B y L i s a S l o a n A much-missed mem­ber of the Ep­som com­mu­nity has been re­placed.

A new weta sculp­ture was un­veiled to mark the li­brary’s 90th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion last month.

It re­places a weta on dis­play out­side the li­brary from 1998 un­til Jan­uary 2007, when it was stolen and never re­cov­ered.

The new statue was funded by the Hob­son Com­mu­nity Board and was un­veiled in a cel­e­bra­tion at the li­brary on Tues­day.

Li­brar­ian Kala Bhana says it is great to have the weta back.

“When it was stolen, we were dev­as­tated that some­one could steal from the com­mu­nity like that,” she says.

“But we love the new sculp­ture. It’s fan­tas­tic to have art­work in the build­ing for every­one to en­joy.”

The orig­i­nal sculp­ture was first put up out­side the com­mu­nity li­brary on Manukau Rd in 1998, shortly af­ter the li­brary was re­built in 1997.

It was com­mis­sioned by then-com­mu­nity board mem­ber Astrid Malcolm who had a vi­sion to have art­work in the com­mu­nity for every­one to en­joy.

When Ms Malcolm was killed in a div­ing ac­ci­dent in 2000, a plaque was put un­der the weta in her mem­ory.

On Jan­uary 10 last year, a cus­tomer of the li­brary no­ticed the weta was miss­ing from out­side and no­tifi ed staff.

De­spite me­dia cov­er­age and an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by po­lice, the piece was never re­cov­ered.

In July 2007, the li­brary asked the com­mu­nity board to fund an­other statue and artist Jonathan Camp­bell agreed to make a re­place­ment for his orig­i­nal piece.

The new weta is made of cast bronze, weighs ap­prox­i­mately 80kg and is 1.5 me­tres long.

It has been in­stalled in­side the li­brary with ex­tra se­cu­rity on it at all times.

Ms Bhana says the new statue adds to the at­mos­phere of the li­brary.

“It’s so nice to have art­work here at the li­brary and fulfi l Astrid’s vi­sion.”

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

B a ck ag a i n :

Ep­som com­mu­nity li­brar ian Kala Bhana with the re­place­ment we ta statue. The or ig­i­nal was stolen from the li­brar y in Ja nuar y 2007.

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