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King David Kal?kaua statue a symbol of history, interconnection between Hawaii and Japan

HONOLULU—Technicians from the Honolulu Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts will be conducting conservation treatment to the bronze sculpture of King David Kal?kaua located at King Kal?kaua Park on Tuesday, November 9, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The sculpture will not be accessible to the public during those times.

“The sculpture of King Kal?kaua symbolizes an important piece of our history and an interconnection between Hawaii and Japan,” said Michael Pili Pang, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Culture and Arts.

The sculpture of King Kal?kaua is eight-feet tall and is mounted on a granite pedestal. The entire display towers slightly more than 13 feet. The artwork is a bronze sculpture of King Kal?kaua wearing a business suit and holds a document in his right hand. The document symbolizes the written accord between Kal?kalua and Emperor Meiji of Japan to bring government contract workers to work on sugar plantations.

The sculpture was commissioned by the Oahu Kanyaku Imin Centennial Committee in 1985 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese contract workers to Hawaii. Artist Sean Browne was commission to create the sculpture. The sculpture was gifted to the City in 1990, and was dedicated on February 8, 1991.

Kal?kaua was born on November 12, 1836 and ruled from 1874 to 1891, when he died in San Francisco. During his reign, ‘Iolani Palace was constructed.

Conservation treatment is conducted on the sculpture every six months as part of the maintenance cycle for the City’s artworks on public display.

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