People explore the sculpture soon after its installation.
Photo Stephen Jaquiery
It seems vigorous play has unzipped Dunedin's worm and it
will have to be returned to the earth.
The city's latest piece of public art, a giant flexible steel
worm in the Dunedin Botanic Garden, is to be lowered closer
to the ground after coming undone at the seams.
Garden team leader Alan Matchett said the worm's interlinking
steel segments separated at one end during the Easter break.
It appeared the rupture was caused by the steel stretching,
most likely as a result of ''over-vigorous'' play with the
worm, which was designed to move and be interactive.
The worm had been an exceptionally popular addition to the
garden, Mr Matchett said, and the untested technology, the
interlacing pieces making up the steel tube, had obviously
not been able to cope with the amount of manoeuvring at a
point where there was a lot of stress on the structure.
The artist, Julia Morison, was talking to the engineers about
how to fix the break and would be in Dunedin in the next few
weeks to oversee the repair work.
Lowering the structure would mean more of it was supported by
Repair costs had to be borne by Ms Morison as the worm's
$85,000 price tag included a fit-for-purpose sculpture, Mr
When contacted, Ms Morison said she had not expected the worm
to be so ''trampled'' on, although it was good there was such
interest in it.
Lowering it so it was better supported was not a worry, as it
would still be interactive.
''You've got to be pragmatic. It's fine, it's resolvable.''