Lifting contractor Hawaiian Crane & Rigging Ltd was contracted on 18 May 2004 to relocate an ancient Easter Island Head from one part of Honolulu’s Bishop Museum campus to another.

Prior to contract award, it was suggested during preliminary discussions between the Bishop Museum’s historians and curators and Hawaiian Crane & Rigging that we move the ancient stone statue using techniques and materials of the now extinct race of people of Easter Island. Specifically, it was suggested that we use coconut strand ropes to pull the statue on timber logs to the site and use banana and sweet potato for lubricant. After we set the base in a hole dug in the ground we were then to use a series of coconut strand ropes, approximately 60 men, levers, wedges and an infinite amount of small stones to finally raise the statue to its final upright position.

We here at Hawaiian Crane & Rigging, ever sensitive to the needs of museum historians and curators, listened attentively then politely replied: ‘Are you out of your minds?’

As a compromise we suggested that we move the statue using materials made of ancient earth metals, which utilises fluids distilled from prehistoric dinosaurs, where its form of locomotion is using the most ancient form of mechanical advantage – wheels. We call this form of device a 45 tonne Krupp KMK 3045 all terrain crane.

The Easter Island Head had sat in its former location for the last 45 years. Due to the museums expansion plans the Head, arguably one of the most notable landmarks on the museum’s campus, had to be moved. The operation was witnessed by about 50 people including dignitaries, curators, historians and the general public.

The lift went smoothly and without incident. After we did the job the curator approached us and said: ‘It’s a good thing you boys did such a good job, because there would be a curse to all if any damage happens to the head.’. And, as luck would have it, we waived on the ‘curse’ clause on the last renewal of our insurance policy.