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Gone with the wind … tree sculpture

August 1, 2002

Gone with the wind … tree sculpture

The wind tree sculpture which has been a feature of Queen Elizabeth Square for the past 25 years is being stored while the square is redeveloped as part of the Britomart Project.

The stainless steel sculpture, by the Japanese-American sculptor Michio Ihara, cost $80,000 in 1977 and, like many works of art, had detractors as well as supporters, creating much debate and letters to the editor as to its aesthetic appeal.

Removal of the sculpture has involved liaison with the artist and the Auckland arts community and other interested parties and is necessary because the square is being redeveloped as part of the Britomart Transport Centre with provision for buses and dedicated pedestrian areas.

The Auckland City Council recently approved an underground concourse connecting the Britomart railway station and the Chief Post Office and running underground to the Downtown Building on the western side of the square.

The sculpture will be removed and hoardings put up as contractors begin construction of the concourse. Access to parts of the square will be restricted, but pedestrian access will be well-signposted.
ENDS

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