We can do better...

I feel I must reply to Jean Dove’s letter regarding the Damien Hirst statue (“Statue is inspired”, Opinion, July 18).

She is the first person that I have heard from that has actually tried to work out some meaning to this sculpture.

That alone is to be applauded, although the religious significance she attaches to it reinforces my feeling that the statue is totally wrong for Ilfracombe.

I do recognise that my comment about the positioning of the statue outside the benefits office may be hurtful for some. Maybe I shouldn’t have said it like that.

Nevertheless, I know from talking to people that many people who don’t like this statue may say/think similar things because it is so obvious and that alone will give a bad taint to it... not exactly an “Angel of the North” impact.

I have found some people who do want this statue – mostly shopkeepers, for the money it might bring to the town. But they all don’t actually like the statue.

It’s already passed for planning consent by Ilfracombe’s town council and now, according to somebody who I respect as being “in the know”, will be “rubber-stamped” by NDDC on September 5 when it comes up for final consent.

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If that is the case, that is truly a bad situation.

I think that we need something on the pier that the people love and are proud of – and not something that creates arguments.

If we all got together, artists and engineers, it is not impossible to achieve something that most of us would love and feel a part of.

My idea, already stated, would be a giant lantern held in a huge hand, to be called the “Peoples Light”. But the design could be different after consulting the people of the town.

As a designer, and having worked with artists, I am prepared to work with others to create this with no charge for my time.

I think something like this would bring quality, good feeling, draw people together and therefore far more money into the town than what is being forced upon us now.

Robin Goodwin


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