Mural’s fate yet to be decided

Council recommendation leans towards digitising mural and reproducing it elsewhere.

Council recommendation leans towards digitising mural and reproducing it elsewhere.

RESTORE OR DIGITISE: The future of this mural by the late Graeme Mudge on the exterior wall of the Gisborne District Council Fitzherbert Street building is still to be decided. The recommendation is to take a digitised copy of it and reprint it at life-size on a vinyl substrate. Picture by Liam Clayton
The late Graeme Mudge - creator of some of Gisborne's finest public art works.

A FINAL decision is yet to be made on the fate of the Graeme Mudge-painted mural on the exterior wall of the soon-to-be-demolished Gisborne District Council building.

A report to the Future Tairawhiti committee last week said the intention was to retain a copy of the mural by digitising it and reprinting a high-resolution image on a vinyl substrate.

The possibility attracted criticism and letters to the editor from people who believed the mural should be saved.

A council spokesman said the recommendation was to digitise the mural and reprint it at life-size.

“Keep in mind this is the recommendation but no final decision has been made yet,” he said.

“We still have to ensure everybody is happy with the decision.”

Money a limitation

It was physically possible to restore the mural if money were limitless, he said.

“We have spoken to some local builders. It is possible to protect it, then keep it, then crane it out, move and store it on an alternative site, then reinstate it at a part of the site somewhere.

“This would be technically very challenging and would cost an estimated $50,000 at least.

“Keep in mind the mural goes over a wall, pipes and cladding and an air conditioner, not a single surface.”

The alternative option considered was to take a high-resolution digital image and reprint a life-size, digitally-remastered version of the mural at an outdoor or indoor location. The cost would be between $3000 to $4000.

The spokesman said the council staff recommendation was the second option for cost reasons and that it was easier to project manage.

Since the meeting a decision has been made to engage an art restorer to advise whether the mural could be saved.

A FINAL decision is yet to be made on the fate of the Graeme Mudge-painted mural on the exterior wall of the soon-to-be-demolished Gisborne District Council building.

A report to the Future Tairawhiti committee last week said the intention was to retain a copy of the mural by digitising it and reprinting a high-resolution image on a vinyl substrate.

The possibility attracted criticism and letters to the editor from people who believed the mural should be saved.

A council spokesman said the recommendation was to digitise the mural and reprint it at life-size.

“Keep in mind this is the recommendation but no final decision has been made yet,” he said.

“We still have to ensure everybody is happy with the decision.”

Money a limitation

It was physically possible to restore the mural if money were limitless, he said.

“We have spoken to some local builders. It is possible to protect it, then keep it, then crane it out, move and store it on an alternative site, then reinstate it at a part of the site somewhere.

“This would be technically very challenging and would cost an estimated $50,000 at least.

“Keep in mind the mural goes over a wall, pipes and cladding and an air conditioner, not a single surface.”

The alternative option considered was to take a high-resolution digital image and reprint a life-size, digitally-remastered version of the mural at an outdoor or indoor location. The cost would be between $3000 to $4000.

The spokesman said the council staff recommendation was the second option for cost reasons and that it was easier to project manage.

Since the meeting a decision has been made to engage an art restorer to advise whether the mural could be saved.

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Mark Peters - 3 years ago
The mural does appear to go over pipes and cladding (and not over the air con unit which is independent of the wall), but the work is painted on a panel which is fixed to the bricks.
Hopefully the art restorer will recommend commissioning in a technician with the skills to operate a screwdriver so the panel can be removed, put on a truck and transported far, far away from the wrecking ball.

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