New Plymouth's Len Lye Centre is struggling to pay its bills, with some sculptures broken and unable to be repaired.

The $11.5 million centre has been open less than two years, but is now running into staffing and budget problems.

One of the metal ribbons that makes up the Trilogy sculpture broke on December 15, as gallery visitors watched.

One of the biggest sculptures, Blade, is also out of commission, with no plan for how to get it repaired.


The latest Len Lye Committee meeting agenda reported on several "challenges" facing the Centre, reports Fairfax.

The challenges includes no dedicated budget or staff resources for the sculptures, with maintenance currently being paid for out of funds intended for exhibitions.

The New Plymouth District Council currently gives $4.16 million per year in funding, with the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery fundraising around $650,000.

One suggestion to increase funding is for hire fees to increase, with some parts of the gallery doubling the fee for functions to be held there.