Artist’s bronze naked lady would be taller than the Angel of the North...

A bronze statue by artist Damien Hirst and taller than the Angel of the North could soon stand astride Ilfracombe Pier.

Depicted as a pregnant woman with sword, scales of justice and base of law books, the sculpture entitled ‘Verity’ – from the Latin for ‘truth’ – would stand some 10 inches taller than the iconic Angel.

Mr Hirst has offered to loan the statue to North Devon Council for 20 years, as well as install the artwork and its accompanying lighting in the centre of the pier.

A planning application has just been lodged with the council and the town is abuzz with the news. While many people are saying the sculpture will put Ilfracombe on the map, others feel it is offensive or inappropriate.

Damien Hirst is renowned for creating controversial artwork and has put down roots in North Devon, with a home near Combe Martin and his own restaurant at 11, The Quay.

Mike Edmunds, district council executive member for the regeneration of Ilfracombe, said the sculpture was still subject to the council’s planning procedure.

“I can’t pre-judge the outcome of the planning meeting but it has certainly attracted world wide attention,” he said.

“It is an exciting statue, it’s different and to be perfectly honest I think we are very lucky to have someone of Damien’s stature living in the area, who is prepared to loan us a piece of artwork that will be an added attraction to Ilfracombe.”

It is expected the application will be considered by the district planning committee on September 5.

* VOTE in our poll and or post up your views on the proposed statue. Plus see this Wednesday’s North Devon Gazette for more details and reaction.