Sculp­ture row comes to end

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update - By STEPHEN BRIGGS

A BIT­TER dis­pute about the own­er­ship of a city sculp­ture has been re­solved.

Sculp­tor Robert Ersk­ine – who cre­ated the Power Rhythm art­work at Eye round­about – has ac­cepted he no longer owns the sculp­ture and has scrapped his plans to sell it to a col­lec­tor for more than £1 mil­lion.

But the London-based artist says he is still un­happy with the care shown for the sculp­ture by Peter­bor­ough En­vi­ron­ment City Trust, who com­mis­sioned him to cre­ate the work in 2000.

Mr Ersk­ine says he is now tak­ing le­gal ad­vice to see how he can en­sure the 40ft tall sculp­ture is looked af­ter prop­erly.

He said: “The sculp­ture needs the light­ing fix­ing, resin bonded gravel in­stalling and graf­fiti cleaned off prop­erly.

“This has not hap­pened in the 10 years since it was in­stalled, and should have been, as it was in the orig­i­nal plans.”

Mr Ersk­ine was paid £11,000 for cre­at­ing Power Rhythm, which was handed over to PECT, who in­tended to pass it over to the Peter­bor­ough Sculp­ture Trust.

How­ever, Mr Ersk­ine re­cently said he was un­happy with its main­te­nance and claimed own­er­ship rights. He said he would sell it to some­one who would care for it. Now, Hugh Cripps, chief ex­ec­u­tive of PECT, has sent doc­u­ments prov­ing PECT’s own­er­ship and Mr Ersk­ine was forced to with­draw the sale.

He said: “I ac­cept that PECT own the sculp­ture and have told the buyer that I have had to with­draw the sale. He is very dis­ap­pointed, to put it mildly.

“I am pleased that it will be stay­ing in Peter­bor­ough, where it was de­signed to be seen, but I am an­gry that it is still not be­ing com­pleted.

“I think it is sad for vis­i­tors in the city that they have not been able to see work like this in its fin­ished, in­tended state.”

He claimed Mr Cripps had ig- nored his re­quests for dates for work to be un­der­taken.

Mr Ersk­ine said: “He has an obli­ga­tion un­der the Moral Rights and Rights of In­tegrity per­tain­ing to Site Spe­cific Art Works. It is not a dif­fi­cult task to fin­ish the piece.”

Mr Cripps said: “I am pleased that it has been con­firmed that PECT own the statue.

“We will now hold dis­cus­sions with the Peter­bor­ough Sculp­ture Trust to see what the next stage is with the hand over.

“Those dis­cus­sions will in­clude who is in charge of the main­te­nance. PECT is not an or­gan­i­sa­tion that owns and main­tains art pieces.”

BAT­TLE: Sculp­tor Robert Ersk­ine with his work, Power Rhythm.

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