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Sculpture dedicated to lost firefighters


Media statement 20 August 2002


Sculpture dedicated to lost firefighters for new reserve

A commemorative sculpture incorporating steel from the World Trade Centre will be dedicated to firefighters from around the world who have lost their lives in the course of duty. Artist Graham Bennett has been commissioned to create a sculpture specifically for a site on the banks of the Avon, adjacent to the new Firefighters Reserve at the corner of Madras and Kilmore Streets.

The unveiling of the sculpture will coincide with the opening of the Memorial Firefighters Games to be held in Christchurch in October.

The sculpture and the new reserve have come about through a partnership between the City Council and sponsors Warners/ Lion Foundation, John Rhind Funeral Directors and City Care.

Christchurch City Council Arts Adviser, Marlene Le Cren, has been involved in sourcing the steel and bringing it to Christchurch. She says that when a dedicated sculpture was proposed for the new Firefighters Reserve, it was suggested that steel from the World Trade Centre site would be an appropriate material.

“Firefighters have been lost in events such as the bushfires in Sydney and California in the past couple of years, as well as the World Trade Centre. We have an opportunity here as a city to pay tribute to firefighters the world over, with a new park and artwork dedicated to their courage.”

The process of obtaining the steel was quite simple, says Marlene Le Cren. “We were one of five countries gifted steel by New York City for commemorative use. The difficult part was transporting it here.”

The consignment of steel is being shipped to Christchurch in a container, and will arrive shortly. Meanwhile, Graham Bennett has been working from photos of the steel to design a sculpture specifically for the site.

Work on the reserve is due to start this week. A dedication ceremony is planned for the reserve and artwork on the morning of 26 October, the start of the Games.

For more information, contact:
Marlene Le Cren, Arts Adviser, phone 941-8886


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