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Padstow Mussel Sparks Controversy

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2:52pm 30th October 2012

Controversial plans for a mussel-shaped sculpture in Padstow have sparked anger.

Hundreds of people have signed a petition against an idea to erect the five metre-tall installation on the historic fishing port's harbour wall.

The design, by artist Andrew Nicholls, would open and close with the tide.

Resident Gordon Smith has called for the proposal to be scrapped. He said: "It's ugly, to be frank. I don't think anything like that should be built in such a beautiful place like Padstow. Good on the guy, he's an artist, he's entitled to his own opinion and his ideas and sculptures, but something like that in Padstow doesn't fit."

"It's going to be right in the middle of the harbour. It's going to obstruct the view. People come here because of the surroundings. You know, if they're looking over from Rock thinking, 'oh yeah, Padstow, lovely looking old place', then they see this thing that looks like a Triffid on the harbour wall. They're going to think War of the Worlds aren't they? It's not appropriate."
Andrew Nicholls has told Pirate FM he has received anonymous abusive emails from people who are opposing the idea.

Malcolm McCarthy, one of Padstow's Harbour Commissioner, has condemned the behaviour. He said: "He's had some anonymous emails, of a threatening behaviour I believe. The local people that I've spoken to are dead against that. I'm all for people expressing their views, but in a polite and civil way."

Fay Smith works in a gift shop in the port. She said the money for the project could be better spent elsewhere: "Seventy five thousand pounds can be used for so much more than just a sculpture. We can have a sports centre, in the year of the Olympics. There's nothing for youngsters in Padstow, sports centre-wise.

"I'm not opposed to art per se, but I just think it's not in keeping with Padstow. There could be more things that were appropriate to Padstow. When I think of Padstow I don't think of a mussel."

The final decision over whether to give the sculpture the go ahead lies with Padstow Harbour Commissioners. They are due to meet on October 27th.

Funding would then be sought from the Arts Council and the National Lottery.

See what all the fuss is about below:






2:52pm 30th October 2012

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