Damien Hirst wants to erect 67-foot statue on Devon Coast

Ceri Roberts
Damien Hirst wants to erect 67-foot statue on Devon Coast
Damien Hirst wants to erect 67-foot statue on Devon Coast


The artist Damien Hirst has submitted plans to erect a 67-foot sculpture in a car park at Ilfracombe harbour in Devon.

The Daily Mail reports that the statue of a naked pregnant woman holding a sword above her head, has been dubbed the 'Angel of the West' and stands a full ten inches taller than the Angel of the North.

The bronze finished figure, which has a stainless-steel frame, holds a sword in one hand and has a pair of scales behind her back. She stands on a plinth of law books, staring out to sea. The scales and the sword are similar to those carried by the Statue of Justice on the roof of the Old Bailey.

Hirst, who lives in a farmhouse just outside Ilfracombe and owns a restaurant in the harbour, has told local councillors that they can have the statue on loan for 20 years if they grant him the necessary planning permission.

The proposal is expected to be given the go-ahed, as councillors expect that it will attract plenty of visitors.

Planners will make their final decision in September, and the sculpture, which is currently in three pieces, could be in place two months later.

Councillor Mike Edmunds said: "We have got to find new ways of attracting visitors.

"We are lucky to have an artist of Damien's stature in the area and we want to start rebranding the town in the area of the arts rather than as just a traditional resort."

Councillor Philip Webb added: "It's going to make a big difference to the town and the local economy.

"Damien wants to make a statement and this statue certainly does that.

"I think it's a wonderful idea and I'd be surprised if anyone opposed it."

English Heritage has no objection to his sculpture, which is thought to be the latest part of his Virgin Mother series.

But locals aren't so keen.

Bobby Davies, 69-year-old social secretary of Ilfracombe Yacht Club told the Daily Mail: "Oh, please no. Tell me they're not really going to do this.

"People will come to look at it - probably to have a good laugh at our expense. Given Ilfracombe's past problems with teenage pregnancies I can't believe this is so in-your-face. Why couldn't we have had a fisherman or a seafarer?"

Another resident, Maureen Lowe, 63, said: "About five per cent of local people will go along with this. You can bet it will be called the Belly of the South around here."

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