The Lumiere installation featuring lyrics from The Undertones’ hit, ‘Teenage Kicks,’ could be kept in the city, local councillors have been told.
The illumination on top of the BT building overlooking Harbour Square Roundabout was one of 17 pieces of public artwork featured in the Lumiere festival last weekend.
Since then, calls have been made to retain the item as a permanent tribute to the Derry band.
Those calls were raised at the monthly meeting of Derry City Council’s planning committee on Tuesday and the chair of the committee, Sinn Féin councillor Barney O’Hagan says that steps have already been taken to keep the artwork in the city.
“The culture minister has instructed her officials to enter into negotiations to keep the Teenage Kicks installation,” he told councillors.
Minister Ní Chuilín has already approved the purchase of the illuminations on top of the Rosemount Factory complex which reads, ‘A Stitch in Time,’ in recognition of the city’s shirt industry, ensuring it is kept in Derry.
Colr. O’Hagan said: “I want to pay tribute to everyone who was involved in the fantastic weekend of events. The numbers of people on the streets was amazing, both in terms of the local community coming out and in visitor numbers to the city. All of the reports have been positive, especially in relation to what was happening in Belfast. We wish them well in their negotiations but it certainly was a tale of two cities.”
The Mayor of Derry, Colr. Martin Reilly, added his support to calls for the ‘Teenage Kicks’ artwork to be kept in the city. “There has been a lot of talking about keeping the two signs and that should definitely be considered,” he said.
Colr. Reilly also asked officials from the Planning Service if a new planning application would have to be made to keep the ‘Teenage Kicks’ sign and what the process of applying for permission to keep the sign would involve.
A representative from the Planning Service said a fresh application would have to be made if the negotiations to keep the sign were successful and that the permission for the sign to be in place during the Lumiere festival was only temporary.
Several online campaigns have been started to keep the ‘Teenage Kicks’ sign in its current location on top of the BT building.