Auckland is the most populated city in New Zealand. It is often referred to as the ‘City of Sails’. It was named in honour of George Eden, count of Auckland, First Lord of the Admiralty and governor-general of India. According to the Mercer Quality of Living Survey, in 2010 Auckland took 4th place for quality of life, and 13th place among the greenest cities in the world. Today the city is changing its look thanks to urban planning operations and new architecture.
Luminaire restoration at the War Memorial Museum
The War Memorial Museum is a museum that tells the history of New Zealand, its role in the Pacific and its people. The museum is also a monument to fallen soldiers for the Auckland area and home to one of the three main libraries in New Zealand. The museum does show evidence of the war, with permanent and temporary exhibitions, but over the years it has evolved into a real art museum, illustrating the history of the territory, its natural heritage and its art.
The museum is considered one of the most beautiful historical buildings in New Zealand. It has bronze doors decorated with a poppy motif. The poppy symbolizes death in war. In fact, these flowers grow in European fields where trenches were dug and where thousands of soldiers were buried. The poppy motif is repeated throughout the interiors of the museum.
The great park outside the building has been furnished and lit, since 1928, with cast iron posts with two lanterns and glass shields. Their poor condition was the reason behind their restoration, which was entrusted to Neri. The lamps were therefore dismantled and shipped off to Italy.
Neri worked to save the copper frame, which in many cases had become deformed. A mould was built to create a new plastic shield, the same shape as the frame. This time, the shield was made in a single piece, instead of in segments like the original, in order to prevent water leaks, which was the cause of the serious damage to the originals.
With the wooden mould, it was possible to bring the various frames back to their original shape.
The lighting elements were equipped with state-of-the-art technology and a plate was set inside to hold 24 LEDs.
The restored lanterns have now returned to do their duty, a significant presence in a place that holds the memory of an entire nation.