The truck was carrying works by Colin McCahon, Ralph Hotere, Nigel Brown, John Weeks, Dick Frizzell, Michael Hight and Graham Bennett (who lost a 4m-high cast iron sculpture). The works all belonged to collectors or artists, and were exhibited in Invercargill by Milford Gallery Queenstown.
Some interesting points:
- The fire was caused by a faulty battery in a mobility scooter which was also being transported in the courier truck
- The fire happened on July 10, but came to public attention this week, after someone tipped off a newspaper.
- Helen Clark has weighed in, stating that the fire is a tragedy, and that she imagines "that those who own them will be looking for some answers as to how this could possibly have happened".
- Worst line of coverage I've seen: "The loss to New Zealand's art world is priceless". Someone's been watching too many Mastercard ads.
Loss of valuable paintings a tragedy, says PM - The Press