Towering downtown art beyond repair after fall

The ‘Spar Tree and High Rigger’ public art piece, at the corner of Albert Street and Victoria Crescent, fell overnight Wednesday.

A towering piece of art in downtown Nanaimo toppled this week.

The ‘Spar Tree and High Rigger’ public art piece, at the corner of Albert Street and Victoria Crescent, fell overnight Wednesday.

Damage to the 25-metre piece was beyond repair. A nearby tree and light standard sustained minimal damage from the incident.

The city said a combination of winter conditions and the age of the wooden pole appear to be the cause.

The piece was created to commemorate the early days of Nanaimo. It was erected on July 1, 1985.

In the early 1900s, the high rigger was the king of the woods. He would climb the big trees taking off the limbs then topping the spar before climbing down.

He was the boss of the rigging crew and responsible for safety.