Pop artist Billy Apple is working on a new work entitled Nine years, three months, three days and 18 hours - marking the time it has taken the University of Auckland to reinstate a pair of art deco lanterns outside its school of creative and performing arts in Shortland St.

Businessman Douglas Myers donated $1.5 million to the new school, and the building was renamed the Kenneth Myers Centre in memory of his father.

Part of the resource consent, issued on July 19, 2000, provided for restoration of the lanterns that were outside the 1934 building when it was the home of radio station 1YA.

Billy Apple entered the picture in 2002 when the Auckland City Council sought information about the location of the original bronze lanterns - and found they were at a home in Kohimarama.

The pattern from which the lanterns were cast was also found, at the Millar Paterson foundry in central Auckland.

The original bronze lantern bases were outside a home in Siota Cres, Kohimarama, so a second set of lanterns was cast.

Billy Apple said the second set was beautifully made, and he was happy with the "nice resolution".