'We say no' - Letters objecting to Damien Hirst's Verity statue
North Devon Council received 100 letters objecting to Verity. Here's a sample:
Jenny Cookson: "If this statue gets the go-ahead I'll eat my hat. It is a monstrosity and only goes to boost Damien Hirst's ego. Not one penny of my council tax should be used for this exercise."
Gwyneth Barnes, Northam: "The proposed statue represents not the best but the poorest level of works that popularist artists have foisted upon the public. This is not great art. It is a meretricious attempt at acceptance by modelling the lovely figure of a young girl and adding a brutal slash to reveal the foetus. Soft porn masqueraded as art."
Anita Allen, South Molton: "This is an affront to public decency; it is inappropriate to Ilfracombe harbour; is certainly not what normal families with young children come to holiday in North Devon for. It is obscene."
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Margaret Holman, Ilfracombe: "I understand a Damien Hirst statue is of great importance to the town but I do not feel that this particular statue is the right one for the harbour. We have high teenage pregnancy and this idea of a pregnant woman at the gateway to our town does nothing to help our problems. A statue with a nautical theme would be great but what does a pregnant woman with her insides exposed really say about the town? Damien Hirst has always wanted to be controversial but this is a step too far at the gateway to our lovely town."
Simon Potter, High Wycombe: "My wife and I are regular visitors to the Ilfracombe/Woolacombe area, visiting perhaps 8 or 10 weeks of the year. We were shocked to see the proposal for a sculpture on the pier in Ilfracombe. The piece is in our opinions grotesque and distasteful. We would certainly not be drawn to that area of the town, on the contrary we would more than likely avoid it."
Peggy Cherrington: "I am sure visitors of other faiths find the British obsession with illustrating pregnant British women somewhat distasteful. Having said that I am sure some will point out it is a natural function and therefore should be shown publicity. To that argument I would add so is picking ones nose or using the toilet but I would find them both equally offensive."
Lindsay Wilson, Ilfracombe: "Do the people who think this is beautiful really know what it looks like or are they just judging it on the blurry images shown in council offices and in the local newspaper? There is nothing beautiful about a semi-skinned human being."
Peggy Pollard, Lea Park, Ilfracombe: "In my opinion the people who are in acceptance of this proposal are guilty of the highest level of sycophancy that it has ever been my displeasure to witness. It really does stick in the gullet when our councillors and various towns' people expect us to be grateful for the most dubious honour of Mr Hirst's patronage. Do they really believe that it is a selfless act of charity on his part? I certainly hope that they are not that dense. Of course he wants all the publicity he can get and he will have no scruples about ruining the beautiful relatively unspoilt outlook from the harbour and pier for his own monetary gains."
Alan Sedgley: "You lot are sadly deluded if the vote goes through to erect that vulgar statue. Far from bringing in tourists, it will have the opposite and negative response. You deserve all you are bringing on yourselves by allowing it to proceed."
Sue Dale, Ilfracombe: "For 13 years we have traded in Ilfracombe and have been promised year after year regeneration. What we have seen is the town deteriorating into a laughing stock – first of all virtual bonfires, then the 'sperm' logo and now a Pregnant Angel from an artist who locally most guests never seem to have heard of until you mention pickled cows."
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