No plea over damage to Water Whirler
A man charged over breaking a well-loved Len Lye sculpture on the Wellington waterfront is still waiting to hear how much reparation he might be asked to pay.
Hunter Laurie Browne Macdonald, 29, of Te
Aro, appeared in Wellington District Court yesterday, and his lawyer Carrie Parkin asked for a remand without plea.
Parkin said there was still some dispute about how much the reparation amount should be.
The Water Whirler sculpture was worth $300,000, and earlier this week the director of the Len Lye Foundation said it would cost between $35,000 and $50,000 to repair.
Judge Peter Hobbs remanded Macdonald on bail until the end of the month without entering a plea.
Len Lye Foundation director Evan Webb said it wanted to produce three new wands, because the cost of manufacturing them individually was so high.
The sculpture is likely to be fixed next year. Macdonald has said publicly that he was ‘‘bored out of my mind’’ while walking along Wellington’s waterfront, when he came across the Water Whirler sculpture – which cost about $300,000 at the time of installation in 2006.
‘‘I decided to stop and sort of attempt some sort of gymnastic, acrobatic stuff on the sculpture.’’
Historian Roger Horrocks, who was Lye’s personal assistant in the final year of his life, said the artist would have been ‘‘deeply hurt by the sheer idiocy’’ of the person who saw the sculpture as just a climbing frame and not a work of art.
Hunter Macdonald was injured when he swung on the Water Whirler sculpture, bending it until it broke. Hunter Macdonald appears in court yesterday over damage to the Len Lye sculpture on Wellington’s waterfront.