The decision to develop a new site for Woodville's iSite and library doesn't paint a good future for the town's Lindauer Replica Studio.

"This is another battle we'll have to face," Woodville's Kevin McIntyre told the Dannevirke News. "It could mean we have to close the studio doors because the days of volunteers sitting there isn't realistic."

The Tararua District Council is developing the former engineering site at Woodville for the new iSite and library, as well as using a car yard it has bought for parking and toilets. But Mr McIntyre fears this will leave the Lindauer Replica Studio, which is attached by a link to the iSite and library, in limbo.

"I don't know if moving the studio is an option."


But Mr McIntyre who has hade a life-long passion for artist Gottfried Lindauer, a Czech-born artist who lived and painted in Woodville from 1890 when he purchased a 10-acre block in Pinfold Rd, until his death in 1926, is determined the Lindauer name won't be lost from Woodville.

"It'll be kept out there from the Tararua district Lindauer art exhibition, the first of which was held last weekend, to our Lindauer walkway, linked to the artist's life in Woodville," he said. "But it's a big worry if the studio is left stranded as we're trying very hard to push the Lindauer image for our town.

"No one can take Lindauer away from Woodville, so we're going to continue to push to make the most of the connection."

Mr McIntyre and his wife, Joan, began their Lindauer journey during the town's centennial in 1975, when 12 Lindauer originals were on display at the Woodville Racecourse, creating a lot of interest.

Mr McIntyre photographed those 12 paintings, but admitted not much happened until Ray Allott pushed for a Lindauer replica studio to be built in the town.

The studio opened in 2001 and Mr McIntyre has photographed Lindauers from private collections, with 90 on display in the replica studio on Woodville's Vogel St.

Last year when the McIntyres visited an exhibition at the Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen, the Czech Republic,Lindauer's birthplace, they forged links between the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen and Woodville. And eight weeks ago, Filip Trnka arrived as the first artist-in-residence.

Robin Winter, chairwoman of Woodville Districts Vision, said the 150 paintings on display, including three of the replicas and the work of Mr Trnka had energised the district.

"Lindauer is regarded not only as an artist, but an inspiration," she said.

Mr McIntyre said he is determined that inspiration and branding won't be lost from Woodville, whatever happens to the replica studio.