Cut from a 12 ton block of Carrara marble. The statue stands in the south-east corner of Victoria Square.
The statue depicts Cook in naval uniform, it rests on a capstan around which is a length of rope. In his right hand is a telescope, tucked under his arm.
The statue stands 12 feet high, weighing 7 tons.
Sculpted by William T. Trethewey (1892-1956). The statue was unveiled on 10th August 1932 by the Governor-General Lord Bledisloe, when a time capsule was placed in the base. The unveiling was witnessed by some three thousand people.
The cost of the statue was donated by Matthew J Barnett (1861-1935), bookmaker and philanthropist, to Christchurch City Council.
Barnett held an architectural competition for a statue commemorating the three journeys of Captain Cook to New Zealand, and Wm Trethewey won, and was chosen as the sculptor.
Statue registered as a Category II heritage item by the NZ Historic Places Trust. Registered 26th November 1981, registration No 1860.
The statue has luckily survived a lot of earthquakes over the years. Soon after the quakes of 2010 and 2011 it was fenced off from the public for a while.
CAPTAIN ROYAL NAVY
WHO FIRST HOISTED THE
BRITISH FLAG IN NEW ZEALAND
AND EXPLORED HER SEAS
1769-70, 1773-4, 1777
OCEANI INVESTIGATOR ACCERIMUS
(translates as Keenest searcher of the seas)
Latitude/Longitude: 43°31’40.9’S 172°38’8.1’E.
Cook’s Log, page 678, vol.12, no.3, (1989)
Cook’s Log, page 25, vol.30, no.3, (2007)
Cook’s Log, page 46, vol.32, no.1, (2009)
Cook’s Log, page 25, vol.35, no.2, (2012)
Cook’s Log, page 11, vol.37, no.3, (2014)
Image gallery (click to enlarge)