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Captain Cook Statue, Christchurch

 

I was able to photograph the Captain Cook Statue in Christchurch, New Zealand during a recent visit.

Frank Barnett a Christchurch citizen provided the impetus for the statue of Captain James Cook by gifting the principal funds. A competition for the commission was organised. The memorial committee selected William Trethewey as its choice from a prestigious line up of local artists. Trethewey chose to depict Captain Cook on the bridge of boat deck surveying land on the horizon, telescope at his side.

It was a large block of marble that was needed for the creation of a statue of Captain Cook. Problems were encountered with transporting the marble over the Port Hills on a cart when the weight of the block caused a bridge to break. Eventually the marble reached the studio of William Trethewey where the cart promptly sank through the footpath. Notwithstanding these delays, it took the sculptor William Trethewey three years to complete the over life size statue of Captain Cook.

Inscription Below Statue
JAMES COOK
CAPTAIN ROYAL NAVY
CIRCUMNAVIGATOR
WHO FIRST HOISTED THE
BRITISH FLAG IN NEW ZEALAND
AND EXPLORED HER SEAS
AND COASTS
1769-70   1773-4   1777

OCEANI INVESTIGATUR
ACCURIAMUS

The monument to the Captain of the Royal Navy was unveiled 10 August, 1932. At the unveiling a time capsule was placed in the base of the statue containing observations of the economic depression and a list of all the city councillors and officials. With the redesign of Victoria Square the statue was relocated to its present position from the corner of Colombo and Armagh Sts.

Captain Cook  statue Captain Cook  statue
Captain Cook  statue

 

Barry Floyd


Originally published in Cook's Log, page 25, volume 30, number 3 (2007).

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