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Picture of Moai with back of mold removed Moai Removed from Mold
by Liesl Clark
April 27, 1998

"Gentlemen, I want it cut, " said Jo Anne Van Tilburg. There was silence for a brief moment, then Van Tilburg's team began preparations for cutting the fiberglass mold from the face of the concrete moai. Just an hour earlier, the replica statue was lifted upright by a crane from its horizontal position to stand a full 14 feet in height. As it stood upright, Van Tilburg's team gave a relieved cheer; the first major step in the long process of transporting and raising a modern-day moai had been accomplished.

Photo of moai with top part of mold coming loose The lower part of the mold came right off, but the face proved more difficult, as the beautifully-shaped features seemed to offer a surface for the mold to cling to. Van Tilburg's solution was to cut the mold from the face. A chainsaw was fired up and minutes later fiberglass was separated from concrete and a moai was born.

Photo of Jo Anne inspecting the moai Tomorrow the stone giant's face will be finished by artist/sculptors Santi Hito and Cristian Arevalo Pakarati. The maoi will be placed face-down on a wooden sledge and transported by flat-bed truck to Tongariki, the location where the experiments will begin.

Lessons Learned (May 11)
A New Way to Move a Moai (May 9)
Moai is Upright (May 6)
Moai Nearly Raised (May 5)
A Tourist Attraction (May 3)
The Secret of the Sledge (May 2)
Moai Ready to be Raised (May 1)
The Moai is Moved (April 30)
15-Ton Moai Removed from Mold (April 27)
Moai Platform Complete (April 26)
Moai Mold is Filled (April 24)
Moai Mold Ready for Concrete (April 23)
Statue Mold En Route (April 22)
The Team Arrives (April 20)
Arrival on Rapa Nui (April 17)

Photos: Liesl Clark

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