Art lovers want suffrage memorial out of the way

By Bernard Orsman

The tiles have been in Khartoum Place since 1993. Photo / Richard Robinson
The tiles have been in Khartoum Place since 1993. Photo / Richard Robinson

Four years after several prominent dames helped save the tiled suffrage centenary memorial in Khartoum Place, members of Auckland's art fraternity wants it moved.

They are to lobby Auckland City Council's CBD board tomorrow to resite the 2000-tile memorial, saying the memorial blocks a view from Lorne St through the entrance of the $113 million Auckland Art Gallery upgrade to Albert Park.

It is understood that arts patron Dame Jenny Gibbs, art gallery director Chris Saines, the council's public arts advisory board boss Trish Clark, Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney and art dealer Gary Langsford are backing the move.

In 2006, Mr Langsford said the tiles had no aesthetic merit and belonged "in a 1970s craft shop".

In 2006, the council spent $2.2 million preserving the memorial as part of the first stage of upgrading Khartoum Place.

There is now a plan to proceed this year with the second stage costing $1 million in upper Khartoum Place. The design preserves the tile artwork.

Dame Catherine Tizard, who unveiled the memorial in 1993 when she was Governor-General and was involved in the 2006 campaign to save it, last night said she had been approached by Dame Jenny Gibbs but had not seen details of the latest proposal.

Auckland city councillor Dr Cathy Casey is planning to lead a campaign to keep the memorial in Khartoum Place.

- NZ Herald

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