Public Art in Bristol’s Millennium Square

Warning to all sculptors, avoid taking on any commissions from Bristol’s Millennium Square. They don’t seem to like public art there. A life-size bronze sculpture of martyr William Tyndale is the latest victim of vandals. Poor old Tyndale, who’s claim to fame was to be the first person to translate the Bible into English, has been finally removed for repairs. A spokeswoman for @Bristol said “Due to acts of vandalism in Millennium Square the statue of William Tyndale has had to be removed because it was in a dangerous state.’ All that remain are a pair of bronze boots (obviously they aren’t considered vandal fodder!). Jasmine, the poor bronze Jack Russell (by Cathie Pilkington), was a victim too. She was ripped from her bolts only to be found, reinstalled then vandalized again. And lets not forget stag beetle, poor bronze creature (by Nicola Hicks) had it’s antennae broken off. Now Nicola has to make replacement “screw in ones” which will be used on “special” occasions. How sad!

Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Unearthed

A massive marble sculpture (well, bits of it) depicting the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (you’ll remember him from the film Gladiator….here is a clue, he was played by Richard Harris!) has been unearthed at an archaeological site in Turkey. So far they have found the 3ft head, 5ft-long right arm and lower legs cut off above the knees . Emperor Aurelius reigned from 161AD until 180AD and was known as one of the “Five Good Emperors”. The pieces of the statue were found in the largest room at Sagalassos’s Roman baths (typical!). It is believed the statue was destroyed during an earthquake probably between 540AD and 620AD.Other statues have also been unearthed in the room including Emperor Hadrian and Faustina the Elder(the wife of the emperor Antoninus Pius).Archaeologists are expecting to find statues of their respective spouses under the rubble some time soon.

Glad it Wasn’t Me

Some poor soul visiting the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition this week tripped and slid straight into Christina , a 9ft sculpture by the Costa Rican artist Tatiana Echeverri Fernandez. How would you be? The sculpture shattered into a thousands pieces as I presume the culprit did too. Just to add insult to injury the sculpture valued at 6,000 pounds was said to be the artists “star” piece. But she shouldn’t dispair, Nick Flynn takes the honors of being the biggest clutz, he tripped over his shoelace at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge,sending three Qing dynasty porcelain vases shattering into devaluation.

Arm Missing From Carpenter Sculpture

Williams Hardwood Flooring company are offering a $500 for the “two white males” caught on security cameras breaking the arm off their wooden sculpture of a carpenter. Watch out boys, they are none too pleased. A spokesman for the Akron, Ohio company stated “The reward is not for the arm, it’s just for the guy who did it. And it’s wrong and we’re looking to spend the money to find out who did it, not to get the arm back.” Stay tuned

Not A Wise Move

Oh No, the statue of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) founder, M. G. Ramachandran at Thothukudi has been damaged. AND before you all go running for you atlases, Thothukudi is a city and a Municipal corporation in Thoothukudi district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu (whew). The broken statue was discovered by locals who immediately notified the authorities who blocked the road after tensions rose following the discovery. Why such tensions? Well M.G.Ramachandran was a famous actor and politician (ala Ronald Reagan) who after his successful acting/directing career became a vocal Tamil and Dravidian nationalist and prominent member of the DMK (Dravidian Progressive Federation). That was until he got shot in the neck by a fellow actor M.R. Radha. The bullet remained permanently lodged in his neck causing vocal damage. He later formed the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) party after a disagreement with DMK. The AIADMK then become their strongest opponent. When Ramachandran died in 1984 of kidney failure it started a full on riot in Tamil Nadu. Mass hysteria led to looting and rioting with some 100 people attempting suicide by fire (ouch!) and that was prior to his funeral. The funeral left 29 people dead and 47 police badly injured. It was reported over a million people followed his remains and 30 committed suicide. In some parts of Tamil Nadu he is still revered as a god.
So you can kinda guess the dude that did this is in really, really, big trouble. The locals are demanding the immediate arrest of the culprit and I am guessing the Thoothukudites won’t be giving him/she/them a slap on the wrist and some community service. From all reports there are two pieces broken off the statue.

Addition Info : It was alleged that in July, 2008,  DMK workers and anti-social elements had vandalised the statues of late DMK founder Annadurai and AIADMK leader late M G Ramachandran at Karaikudi.

Mule Tipping

Brockport : A fiberglass sculpture of a mule has been “cow tipped” less than two days after it was placed along the Erie Canal. The Mule which cost $1,600 was smashed to smithereens, leaving a community devastated.Lori Skogg the chairman of the Arts and Aesthetics Committee of the Walk! Bike! Action! Group in the village said “Everybody is sick about it. I mean, it didn’t even last two days.” A local artist has volunteered to try and piece it back together. This isn’t the first time the community has experienced “public art tipping” in 2006 a steel sculpture was toppled. Lets hope they catch the ass that did it.

That’s Rude Isn’t It ?

What is a Brisbane council to do when a vandal goes and paints a vagina on a statue PINK? Remove it quick. But the poor old council are under attack for being prudish. Prior to the statue receiving a paint job, the council was already praying the controversial statue (which depicts a naked woman lying in a fetal position with her genitals exposed) would just disappear. Antone Bruinsma’s Birth of Venus statue, which was commissioned by the former Caboolture Shire, was deemed “offensive to women” by the new amalgamated one. So I guess they were rather pleased that someone went and dolloped the privates in bright pink. It wouldn’t be a council member now would it ?
Evidently attempts to clean the paint off failed. Pity the fool that got that job! So the council made an executive decision to remove the sculpture completely from the park, as they believe it will be a sitting duck for future acts of vandalism. Hmm the artist’s respond to the council throwing naked pink lady into storage “I feel it’s insulting to women to remove a vulva because of somebody’s attitude.” Bless.

Why are there no photo’s when you need them !

Ant That a Shame

It seems the poor old 7ft ant sculpture, which was installed in Market Square, Portsmouth, has been vandalized again. Police Sgt. Kuffer Kaltenborn noticed that the ant had white antennae as he went to get his Starbucks fix. Nathan Walker, the sculpture, was notified about the recent attack. I bet he was relieved it was only white pint, last time the ant was decapitated by Theodore “Teddy” Mottola. “Teddy” was fined $500 ,had to perform 25 hrs of community service and publish a letter of apology for his troubles.Watch out who ever did the latest act. If caught you are going to be charged with a Class A misdemeanor count of criminal mischief/vandalism. Don’t mess with no ants in Portsmouth.

Horse Kicking Caught on Camera

Bless those surveillance cameras. Two men and a woman were seen on tape kicking the hell out of a fiberglass horse outside the Roohan Realty building, in Saratoga Springs. In between taking breaks on a park bench, the three vandals took about 20 minutes to break the horse’s two rear legs. They were last seen taking off with one leg under their arm, presumingly as a souvenir. Oh dear, and this seems to be the third attempt at vandalizing that particular horse. In fact that is the reason why the camera was installed in the first place. Sadly the horse now has a severe rear tilt and has been taped off. What’s with so many fiberglass in this city ? It seems in 2002, four other  fiberglass horses were damaged, with one ending up in the Schoharie Creek. Maybe the council should consider getting the nags bronzed !

Outcome : So far no luck finding the kicking culprits. But good news about the past damaged Horse statues. Three arrests = community service + jail time.

Bogside Monument vandalised

The statue of the lark trapped in barbed wire, which honors the Irish Hunger strikers, in Free Derry (Northern Ireland) has been damaged . The lark which sat on top of the H Block shaped structure near Free Derry Corner, was removed in the incident. The Irish tricolour, which is raised to commemorate the anniversary of hunger striker Kevin Lynch, was also taken. So far no one has been charged over the damage and theft.

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