ILFRACOMBE Town Council voted 8 to 1 in favour of erecting Damien Hirst's 60 ft statue in the town last night.
The proposed statue, named Verity, is of a pregnant, naked woman wielding a sword and, if approved, would overlook Ilfracombe harbour.
The planning meeting was well attended with members of the public turning out in force to air their views.
Lin Wheelan, of Ilfracombe, said: "All I can foresee for this incongruous piece of work is graffiti and for Ilfracombe to once again be the butt of so many jokes regarding the statue nicknamed 'The Belly of the South. Is this really what we want for our town?"
Councillor Peter Rawle responded by saying: "He is the most famous and influential living artist in the world. This is hundreds of thousands of pounds of free advertising. We must move forward with the time."
Councillor Michael Dymond, who voted against the statue, argued: "It will be a ten minute wonder. A pregnant woman is a personal matter and should not be exhibited in this manner."
However, Amber Jenkins, 23, from Ilfracombe, who was 9 months pregnant at the time of the meeting, disagreed that the statue is offensive: "It is not disgusting. It is not sexual it is more scientific."
The council's recommendation will now be passed to North Devon District Council who will make the final decision regarding the statue.
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