“an important element of the Docklands Arts Strategy..”

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.

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  • Rory Carr

    When it is said, for example as in the above, that “The authority had estimated last year that the sculpture by British artist Antony Gormley would cost up to €1.6 million to build”, might it not be useful to have a breakdown of such figures into what portions might constitute costs of materials, costs of labour etc. and the anticipated margins of profit for those who make no contribution whatsoever to the realisation of the proposed piece?

    I am acquainted with a few steel erectors, steelfixers and general laborers in Tottenham who I am confident would be only too happy knock it up for one third of the price and, you can bet your little boots, in less than half the time.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    There was a Gormley piece on the BBC Antiques Roadshow recently that fetched a million pounds. It was a minature bronze of the Angel of the North. It was definitely overpriced.

    Some artists nowadays have kinda reached celebrity status…ie Damien Hirst, Tracy Emin, etc..following on from the like of Jeff Koons and Julien Schnabels of the 1980’s. However, all students of the art school of Andy Warhol. As the decades go by however art works increase in price but the true value and most of all the ‘meaning’ of the pieces are worthless.
    There was an excellent programme shown on C4 in the Autumn about the art crtic Robert Hughes who destests the over inflated prices of the art market and the celeb artist culture today! He’s kinda right!