Garth Evans mining hammer sculpture returns to Cardiff

Garth Evans 'hammer' being lifted into place in Cardiff Image copyright Chapter
Image caption The sculpture has returned to The Hayes in Cardiff after 48 years

A steel hammer sculpture inspired by Wales' mining heritage has returned to Cardiff after almost 50 years.

The 40ft (12m) structure was last seen in The Hayes in 1971 as part of an art project.

The artwork, by Garth Evans, has been restored and returned to the site following a crowdfunding campaign.

Hannah Firth, who co-ordinated the Chapter Arts Centre project, said: "It was amazing to see it come back after so long."

The sculpture only went on public display for six months when it first came to Wales in the 1970s, before being taken to Leicestershire where it was left in storage.

Image copyright Garth Evans
Image caption The sculpture, pictured in 1972, was taken to Leicestershire where it was left in storage

The arts centre's appeal to return the artwork to the city was launched last year and exceeded its £16,000 target.

"It was in a pretty poor condition when we found it," said Ms Firth, who is the centre's deputy director.

"We think someone had taken a hammer to it - and then it had also been painted green when, of course, it was supposed to be as black as the coal that inspired it.

"We had to have it stripped right back for the restoration but now it looks beautiful."

Image copyright Chapter
Image caption The sculpture is on display in Cardiff for six months

Just like the first project in 1971, the sculpture will only be on public display in Cardiff for six months.

Campaigners hope to find a permanent exhibition site for it in Wales.

Ms Firth said she was involved in some "interesting" conversations over potential locations.

To mark the sculpture's arrival, an exhibition looking back at 60 years of Garth Evans' work is also being held at Chapter Arts Centre.

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