Robert Falcon Scott statue

The statue of Captain Robert Falcon Scott was carved by his wife, Kathleen Scott, and unveiled in 1917.

The Scott Memorial, Christchurch, N.Z.
The Scott Memorial, Christchurch, N.Z.. Contributor (ctb): Mary Faggo. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

The statue of Captain Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912) commemorates the association between the Antarctic explorer and the city of Christchurch. The statue is situated in the reserve on the banks of the Avon River between Oxford Terrace and Worcester Street.

After the news of Scott’s death in Antarctica reached Christchurch on 11 February 1913, a memorial fund and committee was established to honour the expedition. Inspired by the statue of Scott which his wife, Kathleen Scott (1878-1947), had already carved for display in London in 1915, the committee hired her to produce a replica. But while the original was cast from bronze, the statue for Christchurch was made from Carrara marble (due to metal shortages during the First World War).

The plaque on the plinth contains a quote from Scott’s journal:

I do not regret this journey, which shows that Englishmen can endure hardships, help one another and meet death with as great fortitude as ever in the past.

The statue was positioned facing northward, symbolising the direction in which the expedition team were heading at the time of their deaths. The statue was unveiled on 9 February 1917.

The statue was damaged in the 22 February 2011 earthquake when it fell from its plinth. In 2016 the broken remains were placed on display in the foyer of Canterbury Museum’s Quake City exhibition.  It featured inside a protective display case at the 2012 ice festival. After being restored, the statue was reset on a plate and spring inside the plinth which will allow for it to sway if affected by any future earthquakes.  The restored statue was unveiled once more on 6 October 2017. The statue was vandalised in late October 2017 when the brass pole held by the statue was broken in half.