Lot­tery probe into care of sculp­ture

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By STEPHEN BRIGGS

A PROBE was launched by the Na­tional Lot­tery fol­low­ing com­plaints about the main­te­nance of a city sculp­ture.

Of­fi­cials from the Big Lot­tery Fund are talk­ing to Peter­bor­ough En­vi­ron­ment City Trust ( PECT) af­ter it re­ceived a com­plaint that the Power Rhythm sculp­ture on the Eye round­about in Pas­ton Park­way was not be­ing prop­erly cleaned or main­tained.

The work, owned by PECT, was com­mis­sioned in 2000 by the Mil­len­nium Com­mis­sion, which is now the Big Lot­tery Fund.

The com­plaint was made by the sculp­ture’s cre­ator Robert Ersk­ine, who claims PECT has never had it cleaned de­spite graf­fiti be­ing scrawled over it, has never con­nected the lights to il­lu­mi­nate it prop­erly and has not put the cor­rect gravel in place at its base.

A spokesman for the Big Lot­tery Fund said they were speak­ing to PECT to make sure the sculp­ture was be­ing looked af­ter.

He said: “We are aware of the is­sues raised by Mr Ersk­ine and are dis­cussing a way for­ward with PECT to en­sure the sculp­ture is pro­tected.

“Com­plaints raised with us about any of the projects we fund are in­ves­ti­gated as a mat­ter of course.”

The 40ft tall, stain­less steel sculp­ture has been the cen­tre of a tug of war be­tween Mr Ersk­ine and PECT for weeks af­ter the an­gry sculp­tor said he was go­ing to sell the piece of work be­cause it was not be­ing main­tained.

The piece was com­mis­sioned as part of the Green Wheel cy­cle path through the city.

It cost £35,000 and took four months to com­plete, and Mr Ersk­ine was paid £11,000 for his work on the piece.

Last month, Mr Ersk­ine re­vealed he had been of­fered £1.2 mil­lion from a for­eign col­lec­tor and had ac­cepted the of­fer.

But af­ter PECT proved they owned the piece ear­lier this month, Mr Ersk­ine said he had been forced to with­draw the sale.

PECT chief ex­ec­u­tive Hugh Cripps said he was look­ing to trans­fer own­er­ship of the sculp­ture to the Peter­bor­ough Sculp­ture Trust, so they could main­tain the piece.

But de­spite with­draw­ing the sale, the award-win­ning artist said he was tak­ing le­gal ad­vice to try and en­sure the sculp­ture is main­tained prop­erly.

He said: “Within weeks of Power Rhythm be­ing in­stalled I wrote to PECT re­quest­ing that the light­ing be in­stalled and con­nected, bonded gravel be placed around the base, and graf­fiti which had un­for­tu­nately ap­peared on the day of its un­veil­ing be re­moved.

“As of to­day, none of this has been re­solved and each time I re­quested ac­tion it is not forth­com­ing.”

He added that he be­lieved his artis­tic rights were be­ing breached.

He said; “Un­der UK and EU Law per­tain­ing to the moral artis­tic rights of the author of art­works, PECT will be is­sued with rel­e­vant le­gal pro­ceed­ings as they have in­fringed my rights and they will be up­held.”

No-one from PECT was avail­able for com­ment.

Pic­ture: row­land hob­son.

com­plaint: Artist Robert Ersk­ine has com­plained to the Big Lot­tery Fund about the main­te­nance of the Power Rhythm sculp­ture. (METP-27-04-10RH38)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.