24 Thursday May 18 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi The Star News Restoration takes step forward SCULPTOR MARK Whyte has carefully carved a replica of the Robert Falcon Scott statue’s leg – only to have it deliberately broken. Mr Whyte is one of the experts involved in the restoration of the earthquake-damaged statue of that stood in Oxford Tce for 100 years, beofre it fell in the February 22, 2011, earthquake. It was carved in Carrara marble by Scott’s widow, Kathleen Scott, to commemorate his achievements in polar exploration and as a tribute to Scott and those who perished with him on the return journey from the South Pole in 1912. The statue is top-heavy and weighs in at 2.5 tonne. During the earthquake, it snapped at its weakest point, the ankles, in an uneven break. City council head of parks, Andrew Rutledge, says the Mark Whyte repair is “tricky” because the break is uneven. “There’s been a lot of research into how to go about repairing it,” he says. Consultant engineer Grant Wilkinson, Mr Whyte and others decided the best method was to drill into the statue’s legs and plinth and thread carbon fibre rods through the legs to improve its resilience should there be future big earthquakes. A form of base isolation will also be installed on the plinth. Before doing anything to the statue, they needed to know the technique would work and that the work could be done without causing more damage. So Mr Whyte carved a replica of one of the statue’s broken legs, also in Carrara marble. He carefully replicated the angles of the break and, using the repair technique that will be used on the actual statue, joined the two parts together. Then he watched as his work was put under increasing pressure, to replicate the force of a large earthquake, until it broke. “It’s not often that I carve something just for someone to break,” said Mr Whyte. “But we can’t practise our technique on the actual statue. This is the next-best thing.” The testing was carried out at Holmes Solutions in Hornby this week. Mr Wilkinson says the testing met all expectations. The test involved rocking the replica leg back and forth on its base under incrementally increasing loading. “Our design target was to withstand a 1.5-tonne load, and we got to that with only a couple of hairline cracks,” he says. “That load can be correlated to a one in 1000- year earthquake event, and with the added protection of the base isolation in the plinth, the statue will survive a 1 in 2500-year event. After passing that test, the replica leg was pushed to breaking point. “It didn’t collapse until we got to a 3-tonne loading, and that’s fantastic,” he says. “A 3-tonne loading approximately equates to a one in 2500-year event, and we got well past that.” Mr Wilkinson says the test result means the team can have confidence in its repair strategy. “That was our first big hurdle,” he says. “Now we can move on to the real thing and prepare to work on the statue.” Mr Rutledge says the Scott statue is more than a landmark statue for Christchurch. “It’s an internationally important statue,” he says. “It’s critical that we do everything possible to repair and strengthen it without it being damaged further.” All going well, the statue will be back on its plinth in September. UNDER REPAIR: Captain Robert Falcon Scott statue, Worcester St. Activists back on the anti-nuclear trail IMPORTANT: Robert Green and Kate Dewes will help negotiate a treaty to ban nuclear weapons at a United Nations conference next month. PHOTO: GEOFF SLOAN TWO Christchurch activists will be at a United Nations conference in New York next month to help negotiate a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Kate Dewes ONZM and Robert Green will be among delegates from more than 130 nations aimed to finalise a treaty that will stigmatise nuclear weapons. Unlike chemical and biological weapons, nuclear weapons have not yet been outlawed internationally. Lucy Stewart and Lyndon Burford, also from New Zealand, will also attend the conference that runs from June 15 to July 7. Dr Dewes has served on disarmament advisory boards of two UN Secretaries General. She has been active in the anti-nuclear movement for more than 40 years. “I feel deeply honoured to be heading this team of New Zealand civil society delegates in the most exciting breakthrough towards a nuclear weapon-free world since the 1996 World Court judgement.” Commander Green, a former operator of British nuclear weapons spoke out against nuclear weapons before the first Gulf War in 1991. “The boycott of these negotiations by the nuclear weapon states shows how much they fear a prohibition treaty, not least because of the impact it will have on military operators of nuclear weapons,” he said.
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