Christchurch City Council to look for options for new 185 Empty Chairs site

Tthe 185 empty white chairs are on a temporary site in central Christchurch.
RICHARD LINTON

Tthe 185 empty white chairs are on a temporary site in central Christchurch.

The residential red zone or an anchor project have been floated as possible permanent sites for Christchurch's 185 Empty Chairs artwork.

Artist Peter Majendie on Monday asked the Christchurch City Council's Social and Community Development Committee whether there was any possibility of shifting the tribute to the 185 victims of the 2011 earthquake from its current, temporary spot on the corner of Madras and Cashel streets to a new, permanent site.

Council staff will investigate possible new sites. Majendie says a proposed new design, involving casting 185 chairs in aluminium and placing them on a concrete pad, would cost about $500,000.

185 Empty Chairs artist Pete Majendie wants a new site for his art installation, which is a tribute to the 185 victims ...
STACY SQUIRES/FAIRFAX NZ

185 Empty Chairs artist Pete Majendie wants a new site for his art installation, which is a tribute to the 185 victims of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

Crown rebuild company Otakaro Ltd has already ruled out installing the artwork on the CTV site.

READ MORE:
Quake memorial artist Peter Majendie to ask Christchurch City Council for new site
Artist Pete Majendie unveils design for permanent installation of 185 Chairs
Editorial: 185 white chairs deserve a permanent site
Some want the white chairs scrapped
Should 185 chairs go on the CTV site?
Future of white chairs remains uncertain

Councillor Tim Scandrett asked whether the red zone area near the Avon Loop had been considered as a permanent spot.

"It seems it would be beautiful by the river," he said.

But Majendie said placing it in the red zone was "almost out of the way".

"On our website you can vote for where you'd like to see it and I think most people voted for Latimer Square," he said.

Councillor Yani​ Johanson asked whether council staff or Otakaro had been approached about incorporating the work into an anchor project.

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"[Such as] the multi-purpose arena, which seems to have lots of different elements [or] I guess if you looked at our library with the upstairs rooftop garden," he said.

Council head of parks Andrew Rutledge said there was "some obvious opportunity" to look at installation within the east frame anchor project.

However, Latimer Square came with "complications" and wide public consultation.

"I'm happy to progress discussions with Otakaro on your behalf," Rutledge said.

Majendie indicated he would like to see the artwork remain in somewhere in the eastern precinct of the city.

The committee resolved to seek further information on options for a new location for the chairs.

 - Stuff

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