- What’s New Elsewhere
Repair work continues on sunken moai replicas at Deerfield Beach scuba site
Repair work is underway at the ill-fated Easter Island-themed scuba site in Deerfield Beach, Florida. On April 2, 2016 a team of scuba divers was able to upright two of the fallen 15 moai replicas that sunk into the sea in June 2015. Volunteers dove for the 14th time since October, determined to restore the artificial reef project called “Rapa Nui”. Last June, hopes for the project were dashed when the barge carrying the cement moai tipped over and fell atop the sculptures. The dive team, led by Arilton Pavan of Dixie Divers, was able to remove two moai from underneath the barge wreckage and expects to save a few more. Philanthropist Margaret Blume of Boynton Beach donated about $500,000 to purchase the barge, several tons of cement, and hire a sculptor to create the dive attraction that was to be located about a mile east of the Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier. Pavan noted that the underwater site, which was previously a featureless stretch of sand, is now attracting schools of tropical fish, crevalle jack and goliath grouper, who don’t seem to mind that the moai replicas are upside down.
Put Hoa Hakananai‘a on the next boat home
An opinion piece by Bloomberg View columnist Mark Gilbert from March 2016 highlights an image of Hoa Hakananai‘a in the British Museum, being photographed by visitors, with the caption “This guy needs a return ticket”. Gilbert notes that the beloved and unique basalt moai, was “kidnapped from that distant outpost of Chile 148 years ago by British Navy Commodore Richard Ashmore Powell” and “is magnificent, mysterious - and totally out of place” in the British Museum. He cites several examples of other cultural treasures that have been long removed from their places of creation and states that while there is merit in the argument that these objects belong to the world, it is complicated to decide which parts of the globe are trustworthy of being custodians, as well as who should be the makers of these decisions. On his visit to see Hoa Hakananai‘a in the “Living and Dying” room of the British Museum, he described the moai as being “bathed in artificial light and sharing zero resonance with the Eskimo display to his left, his indignity was compounded as a phalanx of passing schoolchildren cried out “Dum Dum!” in reference to a moai-based character the movie “Night at the Museum.” Gilbert describes his good fortune to have been able to visit Rapa Nui and see the moai on their ahu and in Rano Raraku, and notes that there is literally nothing in the British Museum display that captures the significance that the moai had (and still have) for the Rapanui people; there is no information about how they were carved or transported and no other context. He states that “Hoa Hakananai‘a just looks profoundly sad, a massive curio marooned 8,500 miles (13,600 kilometers) from the only place where his existence makes any sense”. He implores the museum, and it’s newly appointed director, Hartwig Fischer, to consider, with all the current technology for making 3D models, to create a life-sized replica, and let Hoa Hakananai‘a “sail home to Rapa Nui”.
Ana Varu voyage to Rapa Nui ends prematurely in Palau
Ignacio R. “Nash” Camacho, a traditional seafarer from Guam, and Burghard Pieske, a German sailor, attempted to make the more than 1,000-mile trip from Taiwan to Guam on the Ana Varu, a boat made in the style of a traditional Chamorro proa. The Ana Varu was built of modern materials, using “ancient islander wisdom and design”, Pieske said. The men left Taiwan on March 19. The Taiwanese government and people were very supportive and held a festival for them, with dancing and food. The first leg of the trip was to sail to Rapa Nui, using traditional techniques, with the final destination being Guam. They encountered rough seas, however, and the journey ended early in Palau. Camacho spoke...