Bored man breaks $1m sculpture in ‘stupid’ act
A MAN has snapped in half a $NZ1 million ($A900,000) sculpture project after a boredom-fuelled attempt to climb the fragile artwork went awry.
Hunter Macdonald was hospitalised after the needle-like pole titled Water Whirler, on the Wellington waterfront, gave way as his weight bent it over the water.
Gasps and cries can be heard on video footage as the artwork breaks, sending the Wellington resident plunging into the drink.
He told Stuff.co.nz he had been "bored out of my mind" while walking around the area when he decided to attempt some gymnastics on the sculpture.
"A crowd started to form, sort of egging me on. I think they enjoyed watching it," he said.
"That's who I am. I'm a show-off but it bit me on the butt this time," he said.
"I never meant to damage the sculpture."
Photos later showed him emerging from the water with a bloodied head.
"At that point I'd realised that I'd made a serious mistake."
The sculpture, by New Zealand artist Len Lye, had been under repair since 2016 and was just weeks away from being recommissioned. When it works, it rotates and shoots water.
It is estimated to be worth about $NZ300,000 ($A273,000) but the capital has spent more than $NZ1 million ($A900,000) putting it in place.
Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says the council will likely pay for the repair.
"To see it snapped off in a pretty public display of stupidity really was unfortunate," he told TVNZ.
"Ideally the perpetrator would pay but I suspect they won't have insurance."
No charges have yet been laid, police say.
"I'll be expecting a court date. The police took my details at the scene," Mr Macdonald told Stuff.
"I'm willing to do whatever's required, you know, because that's the best way to show remorse."