He appeared out of the depths at Docklands this week and will rise from a lake at Elsternwick’s historic Rippon Lea Estate next week.
Don’t be surprised if you see the giant replica of actor Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in TV’s Pride and Prejudice on tour in future: perhaps heading down to Bells Beach for a dip, or popping into Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin.
The three-metre-tall polystyrene sculpture has been brought to Melbourne to appear in the National Trust’s Love, Desire and Riches exhibition at Rippon Lea. It was given to the National Trust by its British equivalent after going on display at various waterways in Britain, including the sea off Britain’s famous Brighton Beach and a lake in London’s Hyde Park.
Martin Purslow, CEO of National Trust of Australia, Victoria, said Darcy would remain at Docklands until the end of this week before being packed back into the shipping container in which he was transported from Britain, for the last leg of his trip to Elsternwick.
Mr Purslow said it was hoped Darcy could be taken to Bells Beach for an excursion with lifesavers.
“I had asked the staff here to look into it – the iconic view of Mr Darcy with the surf lifesavers.”
The structure was better suited to spots less exposed to the weather though, Mr Purslow said.
“He might float off to Tasmania. He captures the wind. We’ll use him in sheltered spaces.
“It’s a military exercise to move Mr Darcy, a logistical exercise. He’ll be there [at Docklands] until after the weekend, then he’s moving.
“He’s not too heavy, being made out of polystyrene. He has a structure underneath the water, so he won’t blow away.”
Instead, Darcy’s next trip after Rippon Lea was likely to be for a Jane Austen festival in Canberra next year.
“It would be great to see him in Lake Burley Griffin, in front of Parliament House.”
Beyond that, the National Trust – which now has the sculpture in its permanent possession – would consider requests for Darcy to be loaned out for specific events, Mr Purslow said.
“He will stay in the lake for the duration of the exhibition. After that we’ll decide what to do.”