29 March 2006
Councils across Victoria will have the chance to net one of the aquatic sculptures which over the past two weeks have formed the centrepiece of Commonwealth Games celebrations on the Yarra River.
The Premier, Steve Bracks, and City of Melbourne Lord Mayor, John So, today announced that 60 of the 72 installations would be offered to councils through an Expression of Interest process.
The State Government is in discussions to distribute the remaining 12 fish with:
- the City of Melbourne set to retain the Australian short-finned eel,
- the Couta Boat Club, whose members rowed in the opening ceremony, the Barracouta, and
- the Museum of Victoria to display two fish.
The remaining fish will be retained for future river events.
Mr Bracks said the installations, which depict fish and other marine life representing the various Commonwealth nations, would be offered to interested councils as a permanent Games legacy.
“These sculptures are among the memorable images that defined the Games,” Mr Bracks said.
“They are memorable not only for the thousands who lined the river banks to admire the spectacle up close each night but also for the millions across Australia and overseas who watched the opening and closing ceremonies on television.”
“There has been much speculation on the future of the installations. Councils will get the first opportunity to obtain a tangible keepsake from the biggest event ever held in Victoria.
“The 12 days of the Games were a big success but we have always stressed the importance of an ongoing legacy – economic, social and environmental. This initiative will be part of the Games’ social legacy.”
Cr So said the fish and water creatures had captured the hearts of people from all walks of life.
“The now famous fish are arguably the ultimate Games souvenir. The educational and cultural value will be significant for generations to come. I encourage all councils to make an expression of interest,” Cr So said.
The Minister for the Commonwealth Games, Justin Madden, said the fish were commissioned as temporary public art installations and would not withstand prolonged exposure to the external environment.
“The fish were the centrepiece of the River Festival and captured the imagination of the public, however, some are already showing signs of wear and tear,” Mr Madden said.
“Interested parties will be required to meet the costs of collection and transportation of the fish.”
The River Festival, jointly funded by the Bracks Government and the City of Melbourne, attracted an estimated 200,000 people to the banks of the Yarra River during the Games’ opening and closing ceremonies and the nightly displays.
The Expressions of Interest document will be available from Monday 3 April 2006, either online at http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/tenders or for collection from Level 2, 200 Lt Collins Street, Melbourne.