MOVING an 11-ton historical statue takes patience, concentration and a strong grip, says restorer Jan Corewijn.
He and his company’s workers had to relocate the Cenotaph monument from Adderley Street to Heerengracht Street to make way for a MyCiTi bus station.
“It was the biggest job we have ever done. The statue is connected to four pylons under ground, so we had to erect that first without damaging it.
“It was 11 tons and the crane at first looked like it would not be able to perform the task because we lost power at times,” Corewijn said.
He said after some “slow pulling” and “patient” work by the crew they managed to lift the statue on to a heavy-duty truck.
“It looked like an effortless job but I was so nervous about it,” he said.
“If something had gone wrong and it crashed, we would have had much explaining to do. Also, the Cenotaph is an historical part of Cape Town, which cannot be replaced.”
Heritage Western Cape gave the city the go-ahead for the relocation earlier this year after the public was given a say.
Mayco member for transport Brett Herron said the Cenotaph’s new position would make it more accessible to the public.
“Certain original design elements of the monument that have been removed or changed over the years will be restored. The move will allow space for the construction of a MyCiTi bus station on Adderley Street to improve transport in the CBD,” Herron said.
“We are confident the new location will make this monument far more accessible to members of the public, as well as for ceremonies,” he said.