53 JR Godley 002

John Robert Godley Statue

Repair of earthquake damaged Catheral Square icon.


The John Robert Godley statue by English sculptor Thomas Woolner, commemorates John Godley as the founder of Canterbury. The bronze statue was cast at Coalbrookdale foundry in England and shipped to New Zealand after which it was unveiled on 6th August 1867. The statue is listed as a Group 1 item in the Christchurch City Plan,  and registered with Heritage New Zealand Category 1, the highest possible heritage listing in New Zealand.

The statue sustained damage in the February 2011 earthquake, breaking at many joints and suffering impact damage in many locations, the most pronounced being the top of the head.

Specialist conservators, international experts and bronze sculptors were engaged to determine the best methodology for repair. The separated parts were reattached using a traditional method of assembly, using hidden bronze bolts and brackets, true to the original construction. No welding was undertaken on the statue.  Areas of damage deemed too risky to repair due to the possibly of additional loss or damage of heritage fabric, have remained as is.

Cequent were involved in project managing this repair from the initial earthquake damage assessment, to reinstatement of the statue on its plinth. Due to the heritage status of the statue, the project required robust documentation and cataloging - including the recording of any material removed and returned to the statue, decisions made, metal composition testing results, photographic records of repair, before during and after.

 Project Value $140k

Photo courtesy of Roy Sinclair

Repair of earthquake damaged Catheral Square icon.