Artist’s family pushes to save Munmorah Power Station mural

Artist’s family pushes to save Munmorah Power Station mural

CREATING HISTORY: Artist Gino Volpato, the creator of the Munmorah Mural, inspects the work in the power station’s foyer. Picture: Volpatohatz苏州夜总会招聘
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Support for saving the mural at the decommissioned Munmorah Power Station is coming from afar – but remains close to the heart of the artwork.

The facility is being demolished, with the power station’slandmark 155-metre high twin stacks alreadytoppled by a controlled explosion in March.

Agroup of former power industry workers, calling itself the Munmorah Reunion Committee, is trying to rescue the 9-metre long mural from the old administration building before it is demolished.

The‘Munmorah Mural’ was created from more than 800 ceramic tiles by artist and architect Gino Volpato in 1966, when the power station was being built. It depicts the electricity generation process.Mr Volpato died in 2008. Buthis son, Marco Volpato, who is an architect based in Switzerland, said thefamily was delighted that there was a push to save the mural,as he and his sister had been trying for five years to garner support.

“We were pretty much in despair about what to do,” Mr Volpato said from his officein Basel. Mr Volpato said they had approached several state government departments, the Powerhouse Museum, councils and businesses, “but we kept hitting dead ends”.

Mr Volpato said his father was “immensely proud” of the mural, because of its scale and thathe had portrayed the importance of the power industry.He and his sister were “lost for words” when they received an email from committee members in Lake Macquarie, explaining their campaignto have the mural rescuedand rehoused.

“There is still some hope out there to be able to preserve history,” Mr Volpato said. “We can provide backing, both on the historical and technical side of things.”

Committee member Bob Porter, who had worked at Munmorah Power Station, said “it was startling news to us” to learn from MarcoVolpatothat the familyhad been trying for years toarouse official interest to savethe mural.

“We’re very keen to further the alliance and to garner the family’sexpertise in the preservation of the mural,” Mr Porter said.

Steve Saladine, the managing director of Generator Property Management, the NSW Government business that owned Munmorah Power Station, told the Herald in March that experts had advised him it would be difficult to remove the mural without damaging it.However, Mr Volpato said he saw the mural three years ago, and “I think it’s salvageable”. He saidit would require further inspection and may have to be removed piece by piece.

As for finding a new home for the mural, the committee is already receiving offers, including from the CFMEU’snorthern district office.

CFMEU northern mining and NSW energy district president Peter Jordan said many members had worked at Munmorah Power Station, and he believed a covered area near the memorial wall at the union’s Cessnock office could offer apossible site for the mural.

“We’d pride ourselves to show off that bit of history for ever and a day,” Mr Jordan said.