Melt­ing ice blocks on street


Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By JU­LIA GRE­GORY ju­lia.gre­gory@reach­ Lo­cal democ­racy re­porter

THE drip, drip sound of 24 huge blocks of ice slowly melt­ing on the streets of cen­tral Lon­don will aim to draw at­ten­tion to the cat­a­strophic risks of cli­mate change.

In­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed artist Ola­fur Elias­son’s art­work, Ice Watch Lon­don, which is made up of six to nine-tonne ice blocks, will go on dis­play on St Peter’s Hill in the City in De­cem­ber.

Four other mas­sive ice blocks will be in­stalled at the Bloomberg’s head­quar­ters in Queen Vic­to­ria Street.

The art work is de­signed to show the “pas­sage of time and de­te­ri­o­ra­tion, mak­ing cli­mate change an emo­tional, tan­gi­ble ex­pe­ri­ence” ac­cord­ing the City of Lon­don’s cul­tural and vis­i­tor di­rec­tor Nick Bodger.

The artist rep­re­sented Den­mark at the Venice Bi­en­nale fes­ti­val and his piece, The Weather Project, has been on show in Tate Mod­ern’s Tur­bine Hall.

Mr Bodger told the cor­po­ra­tion’s cul­ture, her­itage and li­braries com­mit­tee on Mon­day: “There are some is­sues with weight,” and warned that if these are not over­come, the project “might not hap­pen”.

How­ever he added: “This is an in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned artist.

“It was ex­tremely ex­cit­ing when the ap­pli­ca­tion came in.”

A sur­veyor will look at the di­men­sions and weight of the ice to en­sure it will not dam­age pave­ments.

There will also be checks to de­cide how to deal with melt­wa­ter if the blocks thaw and how to re­move the 1.5m-high blocks if they have not al­ready melted by De­cem­ber 21.

The com­mit­tee also agreed that Kris­ten Vis­bal’s Fear­less Girl could be put in Pa­ter­nos­ter Square for six months from March.

The bronze sculp­ture “cel­e­brates the spirit of women who are tak­ing charge to­day: it serves as in­spi­ra­tion for the next gen­er­a­tion of fe­male lead­ers,” ac­cord­ing to the City re­port. It is hoped that it will be placed out­side the Lon­don Stock Ex­change.

Mr Bodger said: “We need to find the right lo­ca­tion for Fear­less Girl”, re­veal­ing there had been com­plaints about putting it near the LSE.

A third ap­pli­ca­tion for a tonguein-cheek model of a clothed Michelan­gelo’s David stand­ing on top of a wash­ing ma­chine, was turned down as it was con­sid­ered to ad­ver­tise the dis­tinc­tive brand of wash­ing ma­chine. Do­mes­tic David was pro­posed by a PR firm, which wanted to put it in Pa­ter­nos­ter Square, be­hind St Paul’s Cathe­dral.

Photo: Getty ImaGes

Artist’s im­pres­sion of the Ice Watch project

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