Crowds mingle with national media as Verity is hoisted into place on Ilfracombe Pier.

Verity is lowered into place on Ilfracombe Pier. Pic: Barbara FryerVerity is lowered into place on Ilfracombe Pier. Pic: Barbara Fryer

ANTICIPATION became reality today (Tuesday) as Damien Hirst’s Verity was finally hoisted into place on Ilfracombe Pier.

The town was the centre of attention as national media and onlookers gathered to view the defining moment for the controversial 66.5 foot bronze statue.

The naked pregnant figure with sword aloft will now gaze out across the Bristol Channel for at least the next 20 years as she stands guard at the entrance to the harbour.

Onlookers had to wait for some time as contractors waited for the wind to drop before craning what is now Britain’s tallest statue into place.

Verity is hoisted into place on Ilfracombe Pier.Verity is hoisted into place on Ilfracombe Pier.

In the meantime there were endless adjustments to the statue’s concrete base and plinth of law books before the team from Hirst’s company Science Ltd were satisfied.

Mr Hirst himself was not present, as far as anyone could tell.

Harbourmaster Rob Lawson said after gazing upon Verity in place for the first time: “I think it is absolutely fabulous. I’m aware my opinions are at odds with some and I respect that, but art is supposed to be thought provoking and Verity certainly is. I think she is absolutely awe-inspiring.

“She is called Verity, which means truth and she is holding the scales for justice. For anybody to determine truth and justice you must look at both sides of the story.

“So all the critics should consider both sides before making judgement.”