Ararat Memorial Fountain restoration progressing well

Posted Wednesday 3 April, 04:35pm

Work is progressing well on the Ararat Memorial Fountain restoration, with plumbing currently being improved and lighting installed.

Art conservator Andrew Thorn of Artcare was on site last week to oversee work, which includes drilling to connect water points so water can again flow through all the exit points.

Ararat Rural City Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said the work was intricate and complex with Exell Plumbing’s Darrell Juchno working carefully with Mr Thorn to restore the plumbing system.

Dr Harrison said parts of the fountain have had to be temporarily removed to allow for the plumbing work.

“The work requires careful heritage conservation methods, which are quite complex and intricate, so the people working on site are taking their time to ensure it is done correctly,” he said.

Mr Thorn would be conducting repair work to the fountain’s decorative features, including the gryphons, dolphins and grotesque masks, over the coming months. Photogrammetry from a replica fountain in Hamilton is happening to build moulds of missing elements including the top cherub and bowl.

Mr Thorn is also experimenting with paint colours to ensure the fountain is repainted in its original sandstone colour.

Dr Harrison said the work has been made possible with funding from the Australian Government Building Better Regions Fund and Ararat Rural City Council and a generous donation from Ararat Community Enterprise.

“We are really looking forward to seeing the fountain working again and we know the community is too,” he said.

It is anticipated the fountain restoration work will be complete within four months.

Photo: (l-r) Alison Tonkin (Ararat Rural City Council), Andrew Thorn (Artcare), Pat McAloon (Fountain Advisory Group), Max Perovich (Ararat Community Enterprise), Darrell Juchno (Exell Plumbing) and Shaun Day (CHS Group) at the fountain.