Repair row threatening art gallery reopening

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 06/05/2014
Christchurch Art Gallery
JOSEPH JOHNSON/ Fairfax NZ

GLASS BARRIER: The Christchurch Art Gallery’s glass facade is at the centre of a dispute that threatens to delay the building’s reopening. 

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A dispute over who should pay for repairs to the Christchurch Art Gallery's glass facade is threatening to delay the building's reopening.

The city council was hoping to reopen the gallery in November next year, but acting chief executive Jane Parfitt has warned councillors there is a risk the repair project may not be completed by then.

That is because of a dispute over whether the damage to the glass facade should be covered by the manufacturers' warranty or by the council's insurance.

A council spokeswoman said the organisation was in the early stages of negotiation with the insurance company and manufacturer.

"Discussions are commercially sensitive and we are not able either to pre-empt an outcome or predict what, if any, impact this might have on the project," she said.

The council is spending about $56 million on fixing the art gallery and improving its ability to withstand future quakes by installing base isolation.

The building has had to be re-levelled because liquefaction after the earthquakes caused it to settle up to 150 millimetres lower on one side. The re-levelling work has been completed ahead of schedule and the council is in the final stage of tendering for base isolation. Tenders are due to close on May 21.

The art gallery has been closed to the public since the February 2011 earthquake.

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