Safety fears as giant art is erected

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New public art statues, which arrived in Lurgan centre less than a week ago, are already causing public safety anxieties.

Threats have been made to climb the statues and concerns have also been raised about flags being posted illegally.

Public art

Public art

The two nine feet statues, created by a Donegal artist, are designed to depict the linen industry and are holding a sheet of linen between them.

Following an influx of complaints, the Mail asked the Council a number of questions regarding the statues, and in particular for the council’s view on health and safety issues and flag flying.

The Mail also asked when the monument would be finished and if there would be visual enhancements such as lighting.

The Council was also asked how much the artwork cost, including the price paid to the artist, all consultation work, all engineering and erection fees and where the money came from.

A spokesperson for Craigavon Borough Council replied: “We’re delighted to see the statues have generated great interest, they certainly have got people talking. They are currently being erected in both town centres. We are planning an official unveiling of both statues and will provide more details in due course.”

“The Lurgan Group of statues cost £62,500 in total to fabricate with £37,500 funding from the Arts Council and £25,000 from Council; exactly the same amount for Portadown.

“DSD provided funding of £177,862 to install both groups of statues in both towns which in Lurgan involved the demolition of the former YMCA building and in Portadown inclusion of six car parking bays and new footpaths.”

When further probed on the issues not included in the initial statement the Council responded: “Health and safety for the statues is top priority as per all Council projects. The sites are under construction and currently not open to members of the public and if there are any health and safety issues they will be addressed.”