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'We say no' - Letters objecting to Damien Hirst's Verity statue

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: September 06, 2012

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North Devon Council received 100 letters objecting to Verity. Here's a sample:

Jenny Cookson: "If this statue gets the go-ahead I'll eat my hat. It is a monstrosity and only goes to boost Damien Hirst's ego. Not one penny of my council tax should be used for this exercise."

Gwyneth Barnes, Northam: "The proposed statue represents not the best but the poorest level of works that popularist artists have foisted upon the public. This is not great art. It is a meretricious attempt at acceptance by modelling the lovely figure of a young girl and adding a brutal slash to reveal the foetus. Soft porn masqueraded as art."

Anita Allen, South Molton: "This is an affront to public decency; it is inappropriate to Ilfracombe harbour; is certainly not what normal families with young children come to holiday in North Devon for. It is obscene."

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Margaret Holman, Ilfracombe: "I understand a Damien Hirst statue is of great importance to the town but I do not feel that this particular statue is the right one for the harbour. We have high teenage pregnancy and this idea of a pregnant woman at the gateway to our town does nothing to help our problems. A statue with a nautical theme would be great but what does a pregnant woman with her insides exposed really say about the town? Damien Hirst has always wanted to be controversial but this is a step too far at the gateway to our lovely town."

Simon Potter, High Wycombe: "My wife and I are regular visitors to the Ilfracombe/Woolacombe area, visiting perhaps 8 or 10 weeks of the year. We were shocked to see the proposal for a sculpture on the pier in Ilfracombe. The piece is in our opinions grotesque and distasteful. We would certainly not be drawn to that area of the town, on the contrary we would more than likely avoid it."

Peggy Cherrington: "I am sure visitors of other faiths find the British obsession with illustrating pregnant British women somewhat distasteful. Having said that I am sure some will point out it is a natural function and therefore should be shown publicity. To that argument I would add so is picking ones nose or using the toilet but I would find them both equally offensive."

Lindsay Wilson, Ilfracombe: "Do the people who think this is beautiful really know what it looks like or are they just judging it on the blurry images shown in council offices and in the local newspaper? There is nothing beautiful about a semi-skinned human being."

Peggy Pollard, Lea Park, Ilfracombe: "In my opinion the people who are in acceptance of this proposal are guilty of the highest level of sycophancy that it has ever been my displeasure to witness. It really does stick in the gullet when our councillors and various towns' people expect us to be grateful for the most dubious honour of Mr Hirst's patronage. Do they really believe that it is a selfless act of charity on his part? I certainly hope that they are not that dense. Of course he wants all the publicity he can get and he will have no scruples about ruining the beautiful relatively unspoilt outlook from the harbour and pier for his own monetary gains."

Alan Sedgley: "You lot are sadly deluded if the vote goes through to erect that vulgar statue. Far from bringing in tourists, it will have the opposite and negative response. You deserve all you are bringing on yourselves by allowing it to proceed."

Sue Dale, Ilfracombe: "For 13 years we have traded in Ilfracombe and have been promised year after year regeneration. What we have seen is the town deteriorating into a laughing stock – first of all virtual bonfires, then the 'sperm' logo and now a Pregnant Angel from an artist who locally most guests never seem to have heard of until you mention pickled cows."

To view related articles, click on the links at the top right-hand side of this page. POLL: Would you like to see Damien Hirst's 'Angel of the West' statue erected in Ilfracombe? Vote now at the top right-hand side of this page or click here.

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  • AntiStatue  |  September 19 2012, 10:00AM

    Sometimes, the best way to end a dispute, is to reach a compromise. I have sat up night after night almost in desperation and certainly despair. I resolved to try and save Ilfracombe from this National embarrassment. Please, let us pray that Damien sees sense. The 'greatest living artist' would know that art may offend, be in bad taste, be undertaken thoughtlessly, even be put in the wrong place. But all of those in the one work takes a great mind and a strong nerve. I thought Ilfracombe was in a conservation area? I will leave that to the lawyers. The compromise: I will help You gain as much as possible from this despite finding the work disgusting. If you ever read this, or hear about, this suggestion Damien, I will give you my services for nothing except my striving for the common good and the future of Ilfracombe. Please, please, please donate this work to a Hospital? It is the only place it could go in my opinion. Your skill at gaining publicity might change the whole World for the better. Please think again.

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  • AntiStatue  |  September 19 2012, 1:39AM

    by AntiStatue Tuesday, September 18 2012, 3:09AM . "This is not art, its an atrocity. I used to visit the Town of Ilfracombe regularly with children. Never again if this is built. There has to be a religious reason why it shouldn't be allowed, there is nothing else in Ilfracombe thats even made of copper? Maybe there is something in planning Law that would allow a justified appeal? Should it be considered more widely? Is it a National monument? I will research until collapse if necessary to try and end this madness and hopefully find a way of appealing the planning consent. There must still to be time to save the situation. Maybe Hirst will think again?" He will gain more favour urinating into the sea opposite his restaurant each night at closing.

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  • ru5ty_nail  |  September 12 2012, 6:23PM

    The statue is a satanic symbol. The sword and the pregnant girl are symbols of the Devil's rebirth, hence the slash and the holing up of a weapon designed for cutting. It's all symbolic and pretty sick at that if you remember Rosemary's Baby, the movie. Damien Hirst works with the Arts Council, a group now sadly infiltrated by an organization posing as a charity but where the Chief Exec gives herself £80,000 of your money, calling themselves Common Purpose. They use behavioural modification technology, NLP, to train 'leaders'. What they are doing is training all Government workers, councils etc., Police and other services with the use of brainwashing now termed behavioural modification. They 'remodel' people. Nice. Their role is to implement an agenda which includes degradation of society along the way and this is a clear case of that. Their core beliefs come from Saul Alinsky among other Marxists whose teaching you'll be glad to know were implemented by Obama and his use of local organisers in his first election campaign, a tactic recently adopted by all 5 main parties in the UK which you see on their own websites where they actually boast of following Alinski. What's a Marxist doing telling the conservatives what to do? I know someone needs to but wait.... Anyway, so this thinking has given you the people of Ilfracombe this lovely statue. Be aware that one of Common Purpose's mottos is: "Lead Beyond Authority" which to them means what they want will prevail, what you want doesn't matter, as illustrated in the manipulating of this monstrosity upon the people of Ilfracombe with their money and then adding a permanent drain on taxes in order to have the work of 'ArT?' watched by CCTV. null

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  • Dizzy40  |  September 06 2012, 12:25PM

    My worry is Ilfracombe just becomes known as 'that town with the Damien Hirst 's statue' when there's a lot more to Ilfracombe - well I think there is!

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