On the Staircase is a pretty gorgeous piece of public art that was sadly vandalised by some people who we assume are not very nice.
Upon hearing that it has been restored and provided with extra security I ran down there today to snap a photo only to find it completely inaccessible. It appears that the “extra security measures” involve surrounding with with demountables, high fences, and a squad of bored and angry looking construction workers.
Well that ought to do it…
ACT Minister for Arts Joy Burch joined Danish artist and creator of the sculpture Keld Moseholm to mark the occasion.
“It’s wonderful to see this popular artwork restored for people to enjoy again,” Ms Burch said.
“On the Staircase is a key attraction in Petrie Plaza and holds a special place in Canberra’s public art collection.”
Moseholm, who has travelled to Australia to supervise installation of his latest work at the Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi, said he was delighted to see On The Staircase returned to its original condition.
“I was surprised when asked to create replacements for the stolen little men, however I congratulate the Minister for her support to restore this artwork which I am sure will continue to be a favourite for the people of Canberra,” Mr Moseholm said. “The symbolic human figure is typical of my sculptures, and they are installed in many parts of the world.”
New security measures including CCTV and additional lighting in the vicinity have been put in place to deter vandalism.
“Unfortunately this much admired artwork has suffered five serious attacks of vandalism since it was installed in 2009,” Ms Burch said. “I know many people have been appalled by the damage and we hope these new security measures will prevent any future damage.”
Along with the extra security measures, additional strengthening to the fixing points of the figures will make the artwork more robust.
“I encourage Canberrans to come to Petrie Plaza and enjoy this wonderful artwork again.”
UPDATE: My tale of woe got a response from Joy Burch’s office:
FYI, the demountables and scaffolding relates to works being undertaken at, and by the Canberra Centre.
A media op was organised for yesterday as the artist, Keld Moseholm, was the country for Sculpture By The Sea in Sydney. He did a stopover in Canberra to see his restored work.
Hopefully the building work at the Canberra Centre will be completed soon and On The Staircase will be accessible to the public once more.
Sadly I missed the media event yesterday as I was riding a Segway.