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Not enough money to reinstall famous city artwork

Connor Haley
Neil Dawson Echo
Neil Dawson's ECHO suspended above the Art Centre in Christchurch  Supplied

The Arts Centre won't recreate Neil Dawson's public artwork Echo after a public fundraising campaign fell flat.

The sculpture sat above the Art Centre's north quad for 30 years and was Dawson's first piece of public art.

Echo was damaged in the 2011 earthquake and taken down. 

The Christchurch Art Centre set up a campaign to raise the $30,000 needed to recreate and reinstall the piece.

However, donations have fallen significantly short, with only $4275 raised from 42 donors.

Fundraising manager Suzanne Henson said the shortfall meant the project was on hold

"The reinstatement of Echo won’t go ahead in the foreseeable future because the Arts Centre’s current priority is to complete restoration of all 23 of its heritage buildings."

 She was hopeful the project would be revisited.  

"We realise Echo is a popular sculpture that is well-loved in Christchurch." 

Dawson said: “ I consider it [Echo] my most successful work because of it's complex simplicity and it's fresh accessibility."

Christchurch born Dawson has created several pieces around the city including the Chalice, which was installed in Cathedral Square to mark the new millennium.


Cathedral Square Chalice
Neil Dawson's Chalice in Cathedral Square. Supplied

Christchurch residents spoken to by Metro News were divided about whether Echo should return. 

Jane Morrissey, 32, said it would be ''almost therapeutic to see Echo back''.

''I suppose not having it there leaves a bit of emptiness at the art centre.''

Angus Hilliard, 21, said: "Echo served it's purpose, as good as it was it needs to be left in the past, we need to look to create newer and better things."