Wednesday 25 July 2007

When mobility scooters go bad

The story of the 35 artworks damaged or destroyed in a freak truck fire while being transported from Invercargill to Dunedin has been all over the news in the past two days.

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:

  1. The fire was caused by a faulty battery in a mobility scooter which was also being transported in the courier truck
  2. The fire happened on July 10, but came to public attention this week, after someone tipped off a newspaper.
  3. 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".
  4. 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

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