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The bell was ordered for the city in 1863, and from 1871 to 1877, the bell was housed at the University of Otago when it was based in Princes St, according to notes provided by the University.
It remained there when the building was sold to the Colonial Bank and later the Dunedin Stock Exchange, before it disappeared from historical records when the building was demolished in 1969.
The bell reappeared in 1997 when it was placed in the Meridian Mall food court.
When University north campus facilities manager Michael Porter, previously mall manager, realised the bell’s connection with the university, he contacted the mall owners and asked if they would agree to the university bringing it back to its "rightful place".
They agreed, and it was installed in the courtyard between the university’s clocktower and geology buildings last Friday.