9 Oct 2018

Repair bill for broken Len Lye sculpture to be covered by insurance

12:15 pm on 9 October 2018

Insurance will cover the cost to repair a popular Len Lye Sculpture on the city's waterfront which was snapped in two by a man climbing on it..

A bystander captured the moment a man attempted to climb the 12m Water Whirler - a pole which shakes and gyrates when activated by a button.

But the pole bent perilously close to the water before breaking under the strain.

The man was taken to hospital with a head injury.

The sculpture cost more than $1m to be installed in 2006, Wellington Mayor Justin Lester said.

He said the council would pay for the artwork to be repaired, but that insurance would cover the costs.

He had seen the video and said there had been problems with people climbing on the Wind Whirler for years.

Wellington Sculpture Trust chair Sue Elliot told Morning Report it was disappointing considering it was close to being reopened.

"It was appalling and particularly because we were so close to getting it back up and running after a real concerted and team effort that's been going on for the last 12 months," she said.

"It's set us back months probably when we were expecting to have the grand unveiling again in the next four weeks."

However, she said it could still be repaired.

"We've had volunteers - Ghost Fishing rang the mayor yesterday and they are a group of volunteers going to retrieve the pole - and then the same team who have been working on the engineering for the last 12 months will get back to work."

She said up until this episode it would not have been considered a safety risk but there was now talks of installing a barrier around the sculpture.

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