"Sculpture in the park" Pania of the Reef statue Tip by iandsmith

Pania of the Reef statue, Napier: 5 reviews and 6 photos

  Another sad story of a missing lover
by iandsmith

I actually stumbled unwittingly upon this bronze in the seaside park though I have to admit I did suspect it had some significance.
Now considered one of New Zealand's national treasures, the statue was erected in 1954 to commemorate the Maori legend of the sea maiden who captured the heart of the chief's son but the sea people kept calling her and she kept resisting until one day she swam out to sea to meet them. They surrounded her and drew her down, never to return.
She was transformed into the reef beyond the Napier breakwater.
In 2005, Pania was mysteriously stolen overnight, but was recovered a week later and restored to her rightful place.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 22, 2007
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