Rob­bie and friends take a break from du­ties

Central Leader - - News - By Heather McCracken

Rob­bie’s raised fist was glimpsed for the last time on Wed­nes­day be­fore dis­ap­pear­ing from pub­lic view for two years.

The sculp­ture of Sir DoveMyer Robin­son was re­moved in prepa­ra­tion for Auck­land City Coun­cil’s $25 mil­lion up­grade project in Aotea Square.

It’s one of four pub­lic art­works to be put in stor­age for at least two years dur­ing the work.

Sculp­tor Toby Twiss helped work­ers lo­cate four rods hold­ing the 250kg statue in place dur­ing re­moval on Wed­nes­day.

“I’m just here to show them where they might be from my mem­ory and some pho­to­graphs,” he says.

Hills­bor­ough res­i­dent Mr Twiss says the move has been on the cards since the work was in­stalled in July 2002.

“The whole de­vel­op­ment was al­ready in the pipe­line at that stage.”

He says the bronze statue has weath­ered well over the past six years, with only mi­nor dis­colour­ing.

Art con­ser­va­tor Liz Yuda says in­put from artists as well as pho­to­graphs and plans from in­stal­la­tion are used in plan­ning the re­lo­ca­tion.

Terry Stringer’s sculp­ture Moun­tain Foun­tain was dis­man­tled last week by cut­ting the sheets of cop­per al­loy along the weld lines.

It will be welded back to­gether when it re­turns at the end of the up­grade, ex­pected to be in 2010.

Wooden arch­way Te Wa- haroa O Aotea, by Sel­wyn Muru, will be re­moved by the end of next week.

The pieces are be­ing dis­man­tled, num­bered, tagged and checked for dam­age be­fore be­ing put in stor­age.

Crouch­ing war­rior Te Wero, by Lyn­don Smith, has al­ready been re­lo­cated.

Three art­works will re­main – Lord Auck­land by Henry Weekes and two pieces on the Aotea Cen­tre, Un­ti­tled by Paratene Matchitt and Red Dancer by Barry Lett.

The art­work re­moval costs are es­ti­mated at $142,000, and stor­age costs at $60,000.

The square up­grade is be­ing car­ried out as part of the coun­cil’s $80m pro­gramme to re­pair the leaky civic carpark roof.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Care­ful work: Con­ser­va­tor Liz Yuda and artist Toby Twiss dis­cuss re­moval of the Sir Dove-Myer Robin­son statue.

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