Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Where is the Whale?

Above: Kujira's post, seen here on Percival Landing in downtown Olympia. Kujira was spotted missing on Tuesday morning.

Have You Seen This Whale?

Above: Kujira enjoying a sunny summer day on Percival Landing.

by Janine Gates

Kujira the whale is missing from Percival Landing!

The beloved cedar whale carved by local artist Joe Tougas, is indeed missing, however, it was not stolen. Kujira was taken down a couple weeks ago from atop its perch on Percival Landing by city parks and recreation staff, says Stephanie Johnson, city of Olympia arts and events manager.

"A fin came off in the windstorm last month - we had planned to take it down for the Percival Landing restoration, but Mother Nature beat us to it. Johnson said that Kujira gets maintained every other year but this time, water must have gotten in through the blowhole or fin, and it has become soft in the middle.

Kujira probably doesn't mind getting out the cold wind and rain. It's currently hanging out on the second floor of The Olympia Center downtown, drying out for the first time in 29 years. It's seen better days.

Above: Kujira, whose name means "whale" in Japanese, is okay with hanging out at The Olympia Center downtown for now.

The cedar carving was donated to the city in 1981, acquired as a gift from the Patrons of South Sound Cultural Activities (POSSCA).

Kujira will soon go to Tougas' shop for repair and be placed back on Percival Landing after the landing's Phase I restoration, planned to be complete a year from this summer.

Above: Kujira, damaged and looking kind of sad, can't wait to look and feel a whole lot better.

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