The countdown has begun to the arrival of the UK’s largest cast bronze sculpture to her home outside the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
‘Messenger’ is due to arrive in the city on Monday, March 4, following a 270-mile journey from the Welsh foundry where she has been built.
Broken down into four sections to allow for transportation, she will arrive in Plymouth on two low loaders and be taken to HMNB Devonport.
She will be housed there for two weeks while craftsmen from Castle Fine Art Foundry in Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, Powys carefully reassemble the four sections.
Once complete Messenger will measure seven metres (23ft) tall, nine metres (30ft) wide and weigh more than ten tonnes.
On Friday March 15 she will be loaded onto a barge before being powered by tug out to Plymouth Breakwater in the early hours of Monday March 18.
She will arrive at Plymouth Millbay Docks later that morning where she will be craned onto a low-loader.
‘Messenger’ will then begin her final journey when she will be driven at walking pace on a route taking her from Millbay Docks, along Millbay Road, up Royal Parade and back down the other side to outside the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
The bus and inside lane of Royal Parade (nearest the Theatre Royal Plymouth) will be closed from 9.30am to 3.30pm to enable ‘Messenger’ to be craned into position.
Work will take place over the following 48 hours to finish installation before the site is cleared and preparations are made for her final reveal early evening Friday March 22.
During the event ‘Messenger’ will be lit up for the first time thanks to a lighting scheme designed by award-winning Plymouth firm The Pyramid Group.
Adrian Vinken OBE, Chief Executive of the Theatre Royal Plymouth, said:
“The whole Messenger project has been a roller- coaster ride from the outset and now we face its final exciting few weeks. The scale of the undertaking and the skill and dedication shown by Castle Fine Arts in creating her has been just astonishing. Getting her to her home outside the Theatre Royal has been nothing short of a military operation involving eight separate contractors and agencies working in close co-ordination. Their enthusiasm at being part of the adventure speaks for itself. Now we just need to bring her safely home so that Plymothians can start to get to know their new neighbour and she can settle into becoming an established part of our city and hopefully a symbol of its future ambitions.”
‘Messenger’ is the creation of Cornish-born artist Joseph Hillier. He said:
“It is really exciting seeing Messenger coming together in preparation for the final journey to Plymouth. There are so many people involved in the journey. It will brilliant to see her outside the Theatre in the heart of Plymouth so soon.”