A $250,000 sculpture in Queen St has been disowned by glass artist Elizabeth McClure, who is demanding her name be removed from the glass and light work set in the pavement outside the Civic Theatre.
The Herald understands Elizabeth McClure is upset at being named as the sole artist on the plaque when her role was limited to conceptual development.
The Scottish-born artist is an internationally renowned glass artist who has been based in New Zealand since 1993.
Her work is held in public and private collections worldwide.
Last night, the Auckland City Council officer who oversaw the work, Jo Wiggins, said the sculpture, Source, was a "collaborative art work" by Elizabeth McClure, architectural firm Architectus, street furniture company HUB Street Equipment and the council.
The work includes a haiku set in the pavement by distinguished poet Hone Tuwhare.
A council spokeswoman said it had not been decided whether to remove Elizabeth McClure's name from the plaque and who, if anyone, would be credited as the artist.
The work comprises five glass blocks, each 3m long, set in a "river line" to represent the Horotiu stream that once ran down Queen St. It is illuminated by LEDs.
The glass surface has been roughened and covered with an epoxy solution to make it "slip resistant and safe for pedestrians".
In a council press release issued for the unveiling two weeks ago, Elizabeth McClure explained that the "inherent qualities of glass effectively encompasses the qualities of water, such as movement, clarity, depth and reflective light".
Unveiling the work, Mayor Dick Hubbard called it "an absolutely stunning addition to our main street".
After three nocturnal sorties to visit the work, Herald columnist and art lover Brian Rudman came away disappointed.
"A weak blue glow leached out from the glass, and inside, a darker varicose vein-like tube snaked downhill," he wrote.
The Herald understands Elizabeth McClure was paid $10,000 for her work on the sculpture.
Jo Wiggins, who has a $780,000 budget for four artworks on the $43.5 million Queen St upgrade, was unavailable to comment on where the other $240,000 of ratepayers' money went.