Gormley’s Wire Man not “being progressed”

In January last year the Dublin Docklands Authority stated that although they would “not be proceeding” with Antony Gormley’s Wire Man sculpture at that time, “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.”  They also confirmed that “the sculpture is an important element of the Docklands Arts Strategy”.  Today’s Sunday Times reports that despite assurances to the artist, and DDA spending more than €340,000 on the project, the landmark sculpture has now been postponed indefinitely.  From the Sunday Times report

In May last year, Gormley texted Paul Maloney, the then chief executive of the DDDA, to express his frustration at delays in the project. Maloney replied by email, assuring Gormley that the DDDA “remains committed to the delivery of this project” but said the authority was facing “extremely serious financial challenges in light of the collapse of international financial and property markets”.

Maloney continued that the DDDA would investigate and take up any offers of assistance in funding the project. “For the next six months, it will be a priority of ours . . . to secure any support for the project so that we can proceed in January 2010,” he said.

Despite this assurance, the DDDA admitted this weekend that the project was not “being progressed”.

Gormley told The Sunday Times last year that “the international art world was watching Dublin and it would be foolish not to go ahead with the project”. He said that he had been assured by the DDDA that the €1.6m set aside for the project had been “ring-fenced”.

“I would be surprised and disappointed if the project didn’t go ahead as planned,” he said at the time.