Munro sculpture gets nod

01:59, Feb 16 2010

A bronze sculpture of motorcycling legend Burt Munro would be installed in an Invercargill park, city councillors decided yesterday.

The council's works and services committee agreed to a proposal by the Southland Motorcycle Club to install a larger-than-life sculpture of Munro on his modified Indian motorcycle in the Gala St reserve, on the south side of Queens Park.

The sculpture would be funded by community funding agencies, with city ratepayers to pay for the landscaping work, councillors were told.

Councillors debated the best location for the sculpture, with some suggesting the town centre or near Oreti Beach.

However, parks officer Robin Pagan said numerous sites had been investigated and the best was the Gala St Reserve, because it had ample area for tourists to park their vehicles nearby and climb on to the sculpture and be photographed with it.

The idea of the sculpture came from city sculptor Roddy McMillan, who said before the meeting it would represent a permanent memorial to Munro's life and achievements.

The sculpture would build on the success of The World's Fastest Indian feature movie about Munro, and the Burt Munro Challenge annual motorcycle event, while it could be a focal point for a Burt Munro Trail, Mr McMillan said.

The project's backers hope to have the sculpture unveiled in November to help mark the fifth anniversary of the challenge.

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The Southland Times