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The piece, made up of four parts, was unveiled in 1966. ((Nova Scotia Archives))

The pieces of a wrecked Halifax Explosion sculpture will be gathered together for the first time in years.

The big, spiky modern art piece sat outside the Halifax North Memorial Public Library for nearly 40 years. But it was dismantled in 2004.

A group that has been trying to save it will finally see the remnants on Thursday.

"We had to get things in one place. Now we can have a look and try to figure out what the next step should be," said John Little, a blacksmith and sculptor.

The piece was created by celebrated Spanish-born artist Jordi Bonet in 1966. It represented the aftermath of the 1917 disaster.

Janet Kitz, the author of many books about the Explosion, remembers it vividly.

"I found it a very powerful piece. It did represent the jagged pieces of ruins that were left after the explosion," said Kitz.

Decades of weather and vandalism took their toll. In 2004, the city broke up the sculpture. The pieces disappeared into storage facilities across the Halifax region.

Kitz is excited to see the pieces together, though she knows one part is missing.

"The doll — always known as the doll — is not actually a doll. It's a shape of a female figure and that represented the children who were killed in the explosion. Now it is the piece that has disappeared," she said.

Little said it's unlikely the memorial could be restored. He hopes a new work could be created to honour the original piece.

"We want this to move ahead as quickly as possible, but we don't know exactly where we're going with this," he said.

"The first steps have been taken and now there will be a lot more contemplation of what the next direction should be for our committee and the pieces."