Christchurch Art Gallery fundraising for hyper-real sculpture

The Christchurch Art Gallery is trying to fundraise $1 million to commission a hyper-realistic sculpture from British artist Ron Mueck.

Mueck is known internationally for fashioning incredibly detailed works of people at different scales, missing no feature - right down to the stubble on the chin.

His work was shown at the gallery in 2010, breaking attendance records with 135,000 visitors. In the final weekend, queues to see his work wrapped right around the block.

The gallery plans to give him free reign on the new million-dollar piece. It says it's not yet sure what he will create.

Its fundraising is already almost halfway there after four generous donations of $100,000 from Christchurch locals.

Mueck is also creating a new work for the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia.