Fisherman statue in Hilo to be relocated within a week

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald The fisherman statue has been removed from its base in Liliuokalani Park and Gardens in Hilo on Friday.

A controversial statue left Liliuokalani Gardens Friday, and will be officially moved within a week.

A bronze statue called “Ho‘omalule ‘Upena Kiloi” — meaning “Metamorphosis of a Net Fisherman” — drew an unexpected outcry from park users after it was installed in February. With some saying the abstract artwork clashed with the traditional Japanese aesthetics of the garden, county officials have since been considering plans to move the statue to a more suitable location.

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In June, Hawaii County Parks Director Maurice Messina said the statue will eventually be moved a short distance away, to a part of the park referred to as the “Isles,” which is north of the Hilo Bay Cafe.

On Friday, Messina confirmed that the move will take place sometime next week.

However, the statue itself has already been removed from the park. Messina said the statue’s creator, Hilo artist Henry Bianchini, had removed it himself Friday morning in order to apply a coating that would make the statue more resistant to saltwater, as the statue will now be closer to the sea.

The statue will be returned to the plinth once it is moved to the Isles, Messina said.

Removing the plinth itself should not be a particularly disruptive project, he said, explaining that once the necessary equipment can be acquired and moved to the park, the process should be over quickly.

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“It’s a pretty simple process, we’re just picking it up, moving it 300 feet and putting it down again,” Messina said.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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