Sculpture row comes to end
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.