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Iconic sculpture to be replaced in Civic Square today

A new version of the popular hanging sculpture Ferns will be reinstalled in Te Ngākau (Civic Square) today.

The Neil Dawson sculpture Ferns was first removed in 2011.

The replacement of the suspended silver sphere comes three years after the original orb was removed because wear and tear had made repairs unviable.

The original 200 kg aluminium sculpture by Christchurch-based artist Neil Dawson was installed in 1998, and has required regular maintenance since.

It was removed in July 2011 for repair work when fatigue was detected the sphere’s hanging fixings and the aluminium started to tear, and then permanently removed in 2015 after Wellington City Council learned it was no longer safe to keep it suspended due to metal fatigue from wind damage.

Dawson has been involved in the new design for the project. Though the size, position, colours and lighting will be the same, the sphere will now be made of stainless steel, with the cables used to suspend it increased in thickness from 3mm to 4mm.

Wellington City Council has advised that the middle of Te Ngākau and main entrance to City Gallery will be cordoned off during the installation. The gallery can still be accessed through the gift shop.