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Work begins on quake-damaged Scott statute

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/02/2017

One hundred years on from its unveiling, efforts have begun to repair the earthquake-damaged statue of British polar explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott in Christchurch.

The 2.5-tonne, 2.6-metre statue was first revealed to the public on February 9, 1917, and stood at the corner of Worcester Street and Oxford Terrace.

But it was toppled from its plinth and was snapped at the ankles during the devastating February 2011 earthquake.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel says that, if all goes well, the statue could be reinstated on its original stone base in time for the opening the next Antarctic season in September..

"Due to the fragile nature of marble and the angle of the break, risks are associated with any repair," she said.

"At this stage, we're confident of a good result with the innovative repair design."

The statue is a memorial to Scott and those who died with him on their return from the South Pole in 1912, having been beaten by Roald Amundsen's Norwegian expedition in the race to the be first to the pole.

It was sculpted by Scott's widow, Kathleen Scott, and has become a symbol of Christchurch's links to Antarctica and Antarctic exploration.

Over recent months a project team has been evaluating repair options.

Because of the work's heritage listing in the Christchurch City Plan, a resource consent application is being made. Provided consent is granted, repairs will begin in May.

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