Derry newest public artwork is being patrolled by security guards to deter vandals, it’s been revealed.
The Culture Company has confirmed that the ‘News - Small City Becomes Huge’ artwork in Guildhall Square is being guarded to ensure that it is not defaced by graffiti.
The controversial £25,000 artwork by British artist David Shrigley will be patrolled by security guards “for the duration of the loan of the art [from the London 2012 Festival], including prior to the official opening”, a spokesperson for Derry’s Culture Company said. The spokesperson added: “This arrangement was primarily a duty of care to the David Shrigley art work and to deter graffiti.” The spokesperson added: “David Shrigley is one of the most exciting conceptual artists working today.
“He has a reputation of international standing and was recently the subject of a major retrospective at the Southbank centre.”
The Culture Company has been criticised for forking out £5,000 for the artwork - the London 2012 Festival paying £20,000 of the bill.
SDLP Councillor Sean Carr said he was contacted by several constituents who had concerns over the spending. “We don’t want City of Culture to turn into the emperor’s new clothes where people are afraid to criticise spending and things in case others brand them as being negative.”
It is planned that the artwork be used to showcase the City of Culture programme in different locations throughout 2013. David Shrigley said he hoped the statement made in his artwork “might turn out to come true and that Derry’s cultural profile might become much larger than a small city such as Derry would normally hope to acquire”.