By VICTORIA McMAHON
ROCKETING steel prices have thrown plans for a landmark sculpture on the scrap heap.
The 45metre-high Trillian steel sculpture, was to form an iconic part of Belfast’s emerging skyline but skyhigh steel prices have pushed the project up 50 per cent to pounds 600,000.
It means that, after three years and thousands of pounds already spent on consultation and planning stages, Belfast City Council, the driving has been forced back to the drawing board.
After a worldwide search in 2005 Oregon artist Ed Carpenter’s “wild flower” was chosen from 400 entries to become the landmark centre piece at Broadway Roundabout.
It was due to take up its new home later this year at the head of the recently improved Westlink.
It was described at the time as a “breathtaking symbol of regeneration and renewal”.
After dark, the installation was designed to be visible for miles with rays of light projected from the tips of its leaves into the night sky. But the problem lay with the materials in the Trillian design with the polycarbonate material being backed with costly steel trusses, and reinforced steel cables holding the artwork in place.
Belfast City Council has now launched another hunt for an artist to replace the Trillian design and one which keeps within its hefty pounds 400,000 budget.
South Belfast councillor Bob Stoker admitted: “It is disappointing to go back to the drawing board again.
It’s just one of those things, we just didn’t have the money.”
A steering panel will now be set up with representatives from community organisations as well as politicians and representatives from the Department of Social Development, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and Roads Service – who are stumping up the bulk of the cash for the project.
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