Saturday, August 2, 2014

Photohunt: Cloudy

Photo: Photohunt: Cloudy

At the hospital entrance of the Auckland is this statue.

On 29 June 1936, Richard Gross after three months work revealed the sculpture of the athlete on the top of the tallest pylon of the gateway. The Auckland Star described it as “Grace of movement, rhythm and vitality is incorporated in the statue. The figure is posed on one leg, with one arm reaching towards the playing fields to urge youth on to greater effort and prowess, and also to stir Auckland youth to further conquest on fields afar … The figure of the athlete, representing a shot putter in graceful attitude at the end of his throw, weighs well over a ton. A well-known Auckland athlete posed for the sculptor while the model was completed.”

Initially, the athlete figure is said to have drawn “favourable praise … from several qualified to judge.” However, there was just one detail which the city fathers who approved the whole concept appeared to have overlooked: the statue was that of a male nude. Atop a tall pillar, where people looked … up … and it almost immediately attracted a storm of shock-horror protest from individuals and groups within the community who felt that it was immoral and needed to be altered.


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