Vandals plunder student artwork in Wellington gardens

Troublemakers have targeted Wellington's Botanic Garden again.

This time part of a student light installation called Void has been stolen.

It was part of three installations by Massey University students, one of which was a tribute to Kaikoura after the November 14 earthquake.

A WWI memorial sculpture was damaged and litter and broken glass was found strewn around Remembrance Ridge in September last year.

Void was made from acrylic materials, mirrors and LED lights, which were built into 1sq m cubes to create a tunnel effect across a creek. It is part of the Meridian Gardens Magic outdoor concert series that aims to showcase local legends and rising stars.

School of Design senior lecturer Antony Nevin said the theft of several cubes and transformers was discovered over the weekend.

He said the hoard was worth more than $1000.

"It's not a cheap thing for students, who are leaving university with $50,000 to $60,000 worth of debt, to have $1000 swiped out from underneath them.

Pretty horrible."

Nevin said it would have taken some planning to cart the large cubes through the creek and out of the garden.

"I find that's the hardest thing to stomach, that someone's really thought 'I'm going to steal these' and done that.

"So, I think it really doesn't have a great influence on how we go forward with things like the Gardens Magic."

Nevin said summer events in the capital were meant to be free and accessible for everyone to enjoy.

He said the recent theft did not give him great confidence in helping to put on future ones.

Nevin said the thieves could return the installation to the police station, Botanic Garden or Wellington City Council with no questions asked.

- Newstalk ZB

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