Statues taken away to allow further work

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The statues in Lurgan town centre have been taken away while further work is carried out on the site.

Town centre shoppers were mystified by the disappearance of the controversial street art over the weekend - with some hoping it was a permanent state of affairs while Facebook rumour would have had you believe they’d been stolen.

The truth of the matter is a little more mundane, after the ‘MAIL’ did a little ‘digging’ of its own.

It would seem the removal was all part of the plan to construct a plinth for them to stand on.

A council spokesperson pointed out: “The iconic statues, designed and created by the renowned international artist Maurice Harron, will return to Lurgan as soon as work on the plinth is completed.

“The statues cost £62,500 in total to make with £37,500 funding from the Arts Council and £25,000 from Council. The DSD provided funding of £177,862 to install both groups of statues in both Lurgan and Portadown.

“As people in Lurgan know the chosen site required the demolition of the former YMCA building and infilling of rooms underground. Contrary to popular opinion the funding for the Linen Bleachers could not be used for anything else or transferred into any other budget.

“We’re delighted to see the statues have generated such interest, they certainly have got people talking and will continue to do so for some time as has the Millennium Sculpture in Strabane.”

When questioned by the ‘MAIL’ on why the statues had been put in place only to be removed so soon and would the removal cost any more money. the spokesperson replied: “Whilst under construction, the statues were initially installed and further measurements taken to construct the plinth. It would have been impossible to undertake this work with the statues on site – hence their removal. They will be back on site in Lurgan next week when the plinth has been completed. This work is contained within the cost of the construction tender.”

See your comments about the statues and their disappearance on page 14.