Van­dalised statue re­cov­ered

SCULP­TOR TO RE­PAIR DAM­AGE

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - Belinda Cipri­ano

A TEAM of spe­cial­ist divers has suc­cess­fully re­cov­ered the sev­ered torso and head plus the re­main­ing body of the C. Y. O’Con­nor statue from the ocean off North Coogee beach af­ter it was van­dalised last month.

The pieces are now in sculp­tor Tony Jones’ stu­dio, where they will be cleaned and re­joined be­fore be­ing re­in­stated in com­ing weeks.

A warn­ing float was at­tached to the re­main­ing py­lon.

Jones told the City that the statue, in­stalled in 1999, was funded by the then Depart­ment of Trade and Com­merce.

The City chose Jones as the project artist and ar­ranged for its in­stal­la­tion, but the statue was 30m off­shore in an area of Crown Land un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of the Depart­ment of Lands, Plan­ning and Her­itage.

Mayor Lo­gan Howlett said the sculp­ture had a spe­cial place in peo­ple’s hearts, hav­ing been voted one of WA’s most sig­nif­i­cant art­works in 2013.

Charles Yelver­ton O’Con­nor was a cel­e­brated West Aus­tralian en­gi­neer and former En­gi­neer-inChief ap­pointed by WA Pre­mier John For­rest in 1891.

He was re­spon­si­ble for projects in­clud­ing Fre­man­tle Har­bour, ex­ten­sive rail­way con­struc­tion in Perth, Fre­man­tle, the Wheat­belt, Gold­fields and South­West, and the Perth to Kal­go­or­lie Wa­ter Pipe­line.

But C. Y. O’Con­nor’s pi­o­neer­ing projects at­tracted pro­longed crit­i­cism from mem­bers of Par­lia­ment and the press of the day.

“His death in the ocean south of Fre­man­tle on March 10, 1902, is a stark re­minder of the pres­sures of daily life and their im­pacts on in­di­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties that con­tinue to this day and that have be­come more preva­lent over time,” Mr Howlett said.

The C. Y. O’Con­nor statue off North Coogee Beach.

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