Friday, October 23, 2009

Off with his head

At the risk of mixing metaphors, beheadings and statues go hand in hand. In New Zealand the best-known examples are the 1987 beheading of Sir George Grey in Auckland’s Albert Park and the 1995 removal in Wanganui of John Ballance’s head closely followed by the rest of his concrete and plaster body. But help is at hand, earlier this week art lover mayor Michael Laws presided over the unveiling of a new Ballance statue that cleverly manages to be both bronzed and wooden at the same time. Laws and order being a top priority for the river city, the new statue is probably safe from getting it in the neck again, but pity the likeness of Abe Lincoln sculpted in Florence and located in Oregon. It lost its head a couple of months ago for the fourth time since it was installed in 1915.
Images: From the top left to right. Sir George Grey, John Ballance then and now, President Lincoln, Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Lenin, President Garfield and Irish Republican Sean Russell.