Plans for a Michael Hutchence in Melbourne have been dropped after a family feud has brought the project to a halt.
Melbourne was chosen for the Hutchence statue after work to have one erected in Sydney did not pass council. The City of Yarra, under authorization from Michael’s LA based sister Tina got underway but brother Rhett Hutchence stepped in and brought it all crashing down.
With plans well underway for the Michael Hutchence statue in Richmond, Rhett initiated another play for Sydney, this time with Northern Beaches Council.
On Facebook he wrote:
Remember the conundrum re Michaels statue in Melb?
Sorry Yarra, Sydney wants Michael. Michael was born, schooled, started playing music, and passed away in Sydney.
It was where he always returned to whilst not conquering the world.
So, I was racking my brain, thinking where would be a worthy place to have his statue.
And it dawned on me.
Our Australian childhood was based on the North Shore of Sydney
And every other weekend, we would come to Clontarf, to my parents friends house, Elizabeth who was on the beach on Monash Cresent.
We spent plenty of time splashing and exploring, covered in sand, and wandering the shores in our innocence
Then, innocence was lost, when Michael had his first kiss in Clontarf with Elazabeths daughter Haraani.
That Clontarf memory was so deep he named his daughter Heavenly Haraani Tiger Lily
Clontarf was about growing up.
One of INXSs first singles was called ‘Stay Young”
The video was filmed out front of Elizabeths house on the fore shore of Clontarf Beach, with Elizabeths house acting as base camp for the band and crew.
I just had a feeling that the park there, where we spent hours playing, would be a most suitable location.
So I wrote to Northern Beaches Council, and got a very good initial response. They were excited to have the honour of Michaels statue and it works perfectly as they are currently in process of making a coastal walk which showcases historical and cultural significance through art.
While in Sydney for the Mystify premiere, I had a meeting with the Northern Beaches Council Major Project manager, and we drove to Clontarf, where I believe I found a suitable spot.
Tina Hutchence posted on the A Statue for Michael Facebook page:
In June 2016, I was approached by several fans of my brother Michael to find a way for them to celebrate Michael’s life.
I recognized that like me, his fans miss my brother. I gave them all my support.
They decided that a statue was the best way to celebrate him. I tried to talk to my brother Rhett but he was not interested.
Richmond as a place for a statue became an option and I am thankful for all the work the City of Yarra, Molly Meldrum and Jane Gazzo have done.
I also wish to make it clear that it was my wish (and that of many other family members who supported this initiative from the start in 2016) to complete our work with the City of Yarra Council. There was only one objection from one family member. Understandably, this places any Council in an impossible situation.
Unfortunately, I regret that Rhett has decided, on his own volition, to dislike this idea and to generate a lot of division and anger. Issues could have been resolved behind closed doors, not in the public eye, first and foremost to respect Michael. I am sure the dedication of the people behind the statue will not diminish and one day, there will be a place where Michael’s beloved fans can celebrate his incredible part to our lives.
Our family is absolutely heartbroken that so many years of incredibly hard work to finally honour my brother, after more than two decades, has ended this way.
The Melbourne idea didn’t make sense from the start. Michael Hutchence has such little history with the city other than the filming of Dogs In Space here (but he was getting a statue for his acting skills).
The John Farnham and Kylie Minogue statues that were at Docklands were removed for high-rise development and have been in storage for years. If they were taken out of storage, they could be place in the Richmond precinct (with the Molly Meldrum statue) today.
Here are 21 Melbourne artists who deserve a statue on Melbourne ahead of Michael Hutchence:
Men At Work
Little River Band
The Masters Apprentices