Close eye kept on new librar y weta
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.”
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.