Newtown Heads of Africa expected to get long-awaited refurbishments
THE Newtown heads are soon to be refurbished.
The wooden carved heads have been an attraction to an area which houses the Mary Fitzgerald Square and MuseumAfrica.
They were made from disused railway sleepers, and feature heads from various countries and traditions across the African continent.
The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) said a team of artists would soon be refurbishing the collection.
The target is to put up 40 new artworks in Newtown in the next financial year.
The city’s arts, culture and heritage department will head the project.
Some 150 need repair, 90 are damaged beyond repair and 168 are missing.
The JDA also plans to install storyboards on the history of the area.
The Heads of Africa sculptures, as they are called, were first installed about 17 years ago.
A survey has been done of the artworks to identify which heads need to be replaced or repaired.
Americo Guambe, one of the main artists involved in the original creation of the heads, will head a new team which will be tasked with cre- ating new heads to replace and repair them.
The bare concrete plinths which hold the heads will be decorated.
Later in the year, the work will be extended to other parts of Newtown.
RESTORATION: The Newtown heads, some of which have been vandalised and stolen, are to be restored.
REFURBISHMENT: Eric Itzkin, City of Joburg deputy director of immovable heritage, inspecting the Newtown heads, which are to be restored.