Having been granted planning permission yesterday for Antony Gormley’s Dublin Docklands vision, the Irish Times reports today that “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.” Personally I think that’s short-sighted on the part of the authority.. From the Irish Times report.
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.
From the Docklands Authority statement
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 to enhance the Area as a place in which to live, work, relax and be entertained. However, given the current economic environment, the project will be kept under review and the Docklands Authority will continue working with the artist and others to progress the design at this stage.
The ten year planning permission timeframe is normal for a public art project of this scale. Projects such as the London Eye, and indeed the Eiffel Tower, were originally granted temporary planning permission. We see the time limit as being an important part of the public debate and consultation around the Antony Gormley sculpture.