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Watch: Heroic effort to save 50s mosaic underway

Published: 18 May 2016

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Watch the preservation of Maurice K. Smith mosaic.

Work is underway to preserve a large mosaic that many Aucklanders will remember from the foyer of the former Odeon Theatre on Queen Street.

It was designed by Maurice K. Smith in the late 1950s, before the Hamilton-born architect left New Zealand, later taking up a teaching position at Harvard University. It’s thought to be the only major work in this country by Smith to have survived intact or without extensive modification.

George Farrant, Principal Advisor Heritage, has been overseeing the removal of the mosaic. This involves cutting the delicate tiled mural into 200 pieces with concrete saws. From there, the work will go into storage while a new location for it is found.