The controversial $1.5 million “lighthouse” sculpture on Queens Wharf is being made more in keeping with its state house roots.
After two years of artistic problems and delays, Auckland Council has finally released the first public images of the sculpture, based on a modest Mt Eden state house.
Artist Michael Parekowhai has abandoned plans for a Venetian crystal chandelier weighing 4.5 tonnes and depicting a glowing garden of native flowers, birds and insects at a cost of $705,000. It will be replaced with 10 small chandeliers in a Matariki constellation, or Pleiades star cluster, referencing the Maori New Year, most of which will be made in New Zealand.
Last night, council chief operation officer Dean Kimpton said the budget remained $1.5 million, but there was no longer any cost to ratepayers.
The project will be funded from a $1 million gift from Barfoot & Thompson, interest of about $100,000, a $100,000 donation believed to come from arts patron Dame Jenny Gibbs and an anonymous donation.
Previously, the council agreed to underwrite the $500,000 shortfall after Barfoot & Thompson made a $1 million donation in March 2013 marking its 90 years in business.
It’s good to know that the Auckland Council are no longer pouring $500,000 of rate payers money into this project, but what nobody seems to realise is that there is still a huge operational cost that has already been incurred, and will continue to be incurred that the rate payer is still paying for.¬† Read more »