Leading bell experts have come to Canberra from Britain to prepare for the restoration of the Carillon bells.
The National Capital Authority has brought specialists from John Taylor and Co, the world’s largest bell factory and the Carillon’s original maker, to plan the instrument's restoration.
After 48 years of ringing on Aspen Island and being played weekly by carillonneurs at recitals and events, the bell is in need of “wear and tear” repair.
Due to repeated striking, the points of contact on the cast iron bell clappers have become flat, making the sound more of a "clang" than a deep "bong", the National Capital Authority says.
The clappers can be "revoiced", but after this is done a number of times they become lighter, which reduces the ring’s tone and volume. Eventually, they must be replaced. The Carillon’s 55 bronze bells themselves are still in good condition and will remain the same.
The Carillon will be cross-checked against the original drawings and an “improved design” will be developed. The clavier will be built to the new World Carillon Federation standards, which means new, larger and heavier bell clappers will be installed to strike the bell with a more direct blow.
The project is due to be completed by 2020 to mark 50 years since the bell was gifted to Australia by Britain in 1970. The work is estimated to cost $500,000.
Chief executive of the National Capital Authority Sally Barnes said Aspen Island's Carillon had become an instrument - and landmark - that resonated with visitors and locals alike.
“With such an iconic building and with the instrument itself one of only a few in the world, it is important that the sound the Carillon produces is first class," she said.