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Kaka Beak scuplture unveiled in Wallace Street
July 4th, 2012
The long-awaited Kaka Beak was unveiled on Sunday on the corner of High and Wallace streets, fulfilling the request of the late sculptor's family to have it sited in his home town.
The $20,000 Takaka marble sculpture was originally commissioned to be located outside the Richmond library, but when the sculptor Bruce Mitchell died unexpectedly in late 2010, his family asked the Tasman District Council if it could be sited in his hometown as a memorial to him.
Bruce died before Kaka Beak was finished, and Glen Davis, one of the few other sculptors in the country who could work with Takaka Hill marble, completed it with three weeks' work. It then took a year and a half to arrange for the shift to the new home.
The installation was several weeks in the preparation, and the final paving stones, two small gardens and the sculpture itself came together very rapidly. Mayor Richard Kempthorne unveiled Kaka Beak before about 150 people.
As the photographs below show, the installation forms a pair of seats in polished marble, and symbolises the native bird that was once common in the area. The beak faces Kahurangi National Park and Takaka Hill, Bruce's home.
TDC kaumatua Archdeacon Andy Joseph blessed the sculpture and invited people to pass through the beak and touch it. Bruce's daughter Jacinda Mitchell said her father would be honoured by Kaka Beak facing his home. "Everyone who sits in the seats will receive a touch of your love," she told the crowd.
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