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May 3, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Dunedin on High Alert After Two Days of Terror

Artist to fail assignment?

Dunedin residents are beginning to nervously venture into the streets again after the city was rocked by two bomb scares in two days.

The nightmare began on Thurday 22 April when the ‘International’ Airport was shut down due to a “suspicious package” found in the toilets.

An already jittery public then endured a second scare the very next day when another ‘bomb’ was sighted on the Koremata Street overpass in Green Island.

Emergency Services were called to the scene at 10.30 to investigate suspicious-looking devices taped to the overpass, and quickly cordoned off the area, evacuated nearby residents, and closed the southbound lane of the Southern Motorway. The bomb squad was then called in from Christchurch, who helicoptered down just like they did the day previous.

The ‘bomb’, however, turned out to be part of Otago Polytechnic Arts Student Matthew Wilson’s mid-year exhibition project, which involved drink-can-come-pin-hole-cameras duct-taped to the bridge.

The third-year student says he installed the cans on Monday night, and had hoped the pinhole cameras would be there for six months as part of the photographic technique of solargraphy.

Wilson swiftly rang the Police and identified himself as the owner of the devices. When he arrived at the scene he was surprised to see how much of a commotion had been made. “They got me in a police car and took me to the site and got me to identify my work … they were satisfied there wasn’t anything bomb-like.’

Wilson has received criticism from some quarters. “The student rep for polytechnic has gone on the radio saying she was disgusted at my behaviour and said I should be fined … I think she should have our [students’] back.”

Critic understands that Wilson will not be charged over the ordeal.

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