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The Ko te Tuhono sculpture by Dunedin artist Ayesha Green has a new date for completion after resource consent for the work was granted in May.
It revealed that the artwork will replace the public chessboard which opened to the public in 1993.
Chess pieces used to be put out daily for public play, but the more recent history of the board has been chequered as the council stopped providing pieces several years ago.
The chessboard would not disappear immediately however, because the opening of Ko te Tuhono has been pushed back after previously having an opening in May pencilled in.
Dunedin City Council manahautu, or general manager of Maori, partnerships and policy, Jeanette Wikaira said the completion date was now expected to be in early December.
Ms Wikaira said the artwork would have its own space in the Octagon, ‘‘which at present is dominated by colonial-era built forms’’.
The granting of the consent would allow the physical production of the artwork to get under way.
Project delays were down to the need to co-ordinate several aspects of the construction.
Physical production of the elements of the sculpture, alongside work to lay foundations in the Octagon had to occur, and had to work around other events in the area.
When completed the sculpture will be 3.8m tall compared with the 2.75m Robert Burns statue at the top of the Octagon.
Ko te Tuhono had been selected from a shortlist of four works by the council’s public art selection panel in June 2020.
At the time, Ms Green described her work as a ‘‘gateway connecting us with our deep ancestral ecologies’’.
Otago Chess Club president Geoff Aimers said the chessboard would not be missed.
The design of the pieces was not suitable as they looked more like road cones than chess pieces.
The council should consider installing a public chessboard somewhere else with more classical chess pieces, he said.