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Case Study

Relocating Ron Mueck’s ‘chicken/man’ Sculpture to Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

Momart were entrusted with the delicate task of transporting the extraordinary sculpture ‘chicken / man’ by Ron Mueck to Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū in New Zealand.

‘chicken / man’ is a meticulously detailed artwork at approximately half-scale, showcasing Mueck’s distinctive hyperreal style. Momart, entrusted with the transportation of the artwork from Mueck’s UK studio to the gallery in New Zealand, faced unique challenge’s due to the artwork’s complexity and the materials used.

To ensure compliance with New Zealand’s strict wildlife import regulations, the delicate feathers intended for the chicken sculpture required specialist gamma irradiation treatment and a species identification certificate. Momart leveraged its extensive network to procure these necessary procedures, providing the artist with the confidence that all phytosanitary documentation was in place ahead of producing the work.

Working closely with the artist’s studio, Momart’s in-house casemaking and art packing department crafted custom shipping crates – one for the man and another for the chicken sculpture. The specialist semi-museum crates were pre-made with measurements provided by the artist’s studio, then meticulously adjusted once the artwork was photographed and ready for shipping. Both elements of the sculpture were transported to London Heathrow Airport and loaded on to the aircraft under the supervision of Momart’s airport operations team, ensuring their safe journey to New Zealand.

Throughout the process, Momart offered art logistics advice to both the client and the artist, facilitating the artwork’s smooth passage through customs and border controls and ensuring its secure and timely delivery to its final destination.