Man who broke $300k Wellington sculpture in viral video appears in court

The man accused of climbing on and then snapping Wellington's Len Lye Water Whirler sculpture, captured in a video that went viral, has appeared in court.

Hunter Macdonald, 28, appeared in front of Judge Peter Hobbs this morning.

He was charged last month with recklessly damaging the $300,000 artwork, which belongs to the Wellington City Council.

He's not yet entered a plea.

Macdonald, who has previously described himself as a "bit of a showman", appeared calm in the dock, wearing all black.

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    Hunter MacDonald, in an interview filmed by a PR person, says he climbed the Len Lye sculpture because he was "bored". Source: 1 NEWS

    He denies he climbed the statue as a social media stunt.

    In an interview with 1 NEWS last month, Macdonald made light of the situation, saying he was "bored" and "there wasn't a sign that says don't climb".

    "I started to perform some of my newfound gymnastics skills and one thing led to another," he said. "It came down hard on my head, like a 20-foot baseball bat...I didn't realise the weight of my mistake until it started to explode on social media."

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      Justin Lester said ideally the perpetrator would pay for the damage but the council does have insurance. Source: 1 NEWS

      Wellington Mayor Justin Lester has previously called Macdonald's actions "a pretty public display of stupidity". The sculpture had just been repaired after being damaged two years earlier in the Kaikoura earthquake.

      He's been ordered reappear in court on Tuesday morning.

      If convicted, he could face a sentence of up to seven years in prison.

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        Hunter Macdonald is charged with reckless damage after the incident went viral last month. Source: 1 NEWS