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Robbie takes a break

Last updated 14:50 25/09/2008
JASON OXENHAM/Auckland City Harbour News
CAREFUL WORK: Conservator Liz Yuda and artist Toby Twiss discuss removal of the Sir Dove-Myer Robinson statue.
DISASSEMBLED: Te Waharoa O Aotea is being taken apart and each piece carefully numbered and tagged by conservators.
WIDE OPEN: Terry Stringer???s Mountain Fountain has already been removed from the square.

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

The sculpture of Sir Dove-Myer 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 secure 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.

He says the bronze statue has weathered well, with only minor discolouring.

Once workers broke the concrete around the base and cut the rods, the sculpture was lifted off by
crane.

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

Work is due to begin in November and be complete in late 2010.

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- Auckland City Harbour News

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