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It took two German journeymen more than 200 hours to replicate, but a special spire and cross has been put in rightful place in Dunedin's Southern Cemetery.
The 2.5m-tall spire topped with a cross in Oamaru stone has been winched into place on the original base at the grave of William Hunter Reynolds, a politician and businessman who died in 1899.
The original spire and cross had been smashed and could not be restored.
Stonemason Marcus Wainwright said they were so busy it was only when two travelling German stonemasons on their journeymen's trip arrived, who had the skills for the work, that the cross and spire were carved.
They had a photograph taken in the 1970s and some basic designs, but little detailed design information on the monument to work from, he said.
The monument now needed to be pointed and sealed.
The work was funded by the Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust of New Zealand through charity grants, spokesman Stewart Harvey said.
It was part of the trust's ongoing work conserving headstones in cemeteries.