A shipping specialist is to play a key role in transporting a larger than life size sculpture of a UK explorer to the land where he is most renowned.
Telford based Global Freight will move a bronze memorial that captures Captain Matthew Flinders charting the coastline of Australia from the Shropshire studio of acclaimed artist Mark Richards to Flinders University in Adelaide.
Flinders, along with a native Australian called Bungaree and the crew of HM Sloop Investigator circumnavigated the country in the early 1800s and gave it its name.
The two-metre high bronze sculpture weighing 750 kg is the second to be produced by Mark. The original was commissioned by the Government of South Australia and is sited at
Euston Station in London, under which Matthew Flinders is buried.
It was unveiled at Australia House in London in July 2014 by the Duke of Cambridge, who said it communicated Captain Flinders "as a man of action, strength and determination".
The second bronze was commissioned by Flinders University and, once completed, will be transported down under by Global Freight.
Both depict the explorer out of uniform, poring over his work charting the coastline of Australia with his cat Trim by his side.
Mark Richards, who is one of the UK's finest figure sculptors and is based in Ludlow, is a regular Global Freight customer. The firm has been shipping maquettes – small replicas of the main sculpture – to Australia that private purchasers have bought to help fund the commemoration.
Anton Gunter, National Sales Manager for Global Freight, said: "We are delighted to be playing a part in the commemoration of Captain Flinders in the land he is so intimately associated with.
"Global Freight's experience in shipping precious works of art including sculptures of this size and our continuing relationship with Mark means we are aware of the specialist handling, packaging and shipping required for an artwork of this importance."
Mark Richards said: "This was an important commission that will strengthen the physical and symbolic ties between Adelaide and London.
"I place a lot of trust in my shipping company to deliver my work safely and on time and I am delighted that Global Freight will be involved in getting the sculpture there."