Saturday 17 January 2009

Figurative sculpture planned for Liffey scrapped

THE DUBLIN Docklands Authority has said it will not be going ahead with the 46m (150ft) steel sculpture of a human figure in the river Liffey because of the cost of the project.

The authority had estimated last year that the sculpture by British artist Antony Gormley would cost up to €1.6 million to build.

An Bord Pleanála granted permission this week for the sculpture, which would have been almost the same height as the Statue of Liberty.

The authority said yesterday it was “very pleased” to have got planning permission for the sculpture, which was an important element of its arts strategy, but would not be erecting it.

“The sculpture is an important element of the Docklands Arts Strategy as outlined in its recently adopted 2008 master plan aimed at ensuring that arts and culture become part of the Docklands identity,” a spokeswoman said.

“However, given the current economic environment, the Docklands Authority will not be proceeding with this development.” The project would be kept under review, she said.

The steel-lattice figure was to have been erected in the water at City Quay, 30m (100ft) to the east of Seán O’Casey Bridge and 12m (40ft) from the quay wall.

At exactly 46.2m (151.57ft) above the water, based on the river’s mid-low spring tide level, the sculpture would have been just 30cm (11.8 inches) shorter than the Statue of Liberty from her foot to the top of her torch.

Gormley is most famous for his Angel of the North in Gateshead, England.

An Bord Pleanála had granted permission for the Liffey sculpture to stand for 10 years, after which it would either be dismantled or new planning permission obtained.

Irish Times

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