York works to repair the Jinnah statue

York University is working to repair damage to a sculpture of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan and the country’s first governor general. The statue, standing on the north side of the Curtis Lecture Hall on Campus Walk at York’s Keele campus, was unveiled Jan. 30, 2007 to commemorate the creation of a scholarship that bears his name.

Right: The bronze bust of the Jinnah statue

At 3:13am, on July 30, University caretaking staff, after hearing a loud bang, observed damage to the statue. Due to the historical and aesthetic significance of this artwork, the University is working as quickly as possible to restore the statue, said York spokesperson Keith Marnoch, associate director of Media Relations.

Exactly how the damage occurred "remains a mystery," said Marnoch. Police were notified Aug. 1 as a matter of record but there was no reason to suspect any type of hate-crime activity. "The base of the statue is being reviewed from a structural standpoint to establish a more secure footing," said Marnoch. "We don’t want this to happen again."

The 1.5-metre-high bronze casting on stone plinth was created by David Mcdougall, a graduate student in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, who was selected by the Pakistan Student Association at York, on the recommendation of his supervisor, Brandon Vickerd, professor in York’s Department of Visual Arts. Mcdougall said he chose an iconic image of Jinnah – the one that appears on Pakistan’s 10-rupee coin – as the design for his bust. The only stipulation from the student association, Macdougall said, was that the bust shows Jinnah in a suit, to denote his background as a British-trained lawyer.

Left: Damage to the statue’s base may require a redesign to make the stone base stronger and more secure

To learn more about the statue’s unveiling, read the full story in the Feb. 2, 2007 issue of YFile.

Visit the official Government of Pakistan Web site for more information on Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.