Statues look set to find a new home

AFTER spending two years in the council’s Carn depot a pair of stainless steel statues look closer to finding a home in the town centre.

A planning application has been lodged to have the old YMCA building demolished and the two nine-foot high, one tonne figures erected in its place.

It’s been three years since the statues were commissioned and should planning permission be granted work will begin to demolish the YMCA facility and fill in the site.

It’s understood the Department of Social Development will cover the cost of the installation of the statues in both Lurgan and Portadown.

The site became available when the YMCA relocated to its new state-of-the-art facility in Carnegie Street. However, because a substantial amount of the facility was underground, considerable work will be needed to fill in the site, which was formerly occupied by the town’s public toilets.

The stainless steel figures depict the town’s linen history with two figures holding a piece of linen flax between them.

Created by renowned sculpture artist Maurice Harron, the statues were delivered to Carn in June 2011 by the artist himself. The statues were craned into position and covered, as advised by Mr Harron.

Once installed they will be open to the elements and as such are made to withstand our climate. However, for the moment they are under cover of tarpaulin and have been for some 23 months.

Given the significance and size of the public artwork, council have picked a location for each sculpture in Lurgan and Portadown to maximise their visual impact while respecting their surroundings.