21 cities express interest in building Irishman’s massive moving statue

Inspired by Gulliver's Travels, The Giant Company has developed a new visitor attraction concept

The giant could assume the character of comic-book superheroes, such as Spider-man

Sean Pollock

The Giant Company, a firm that has developed a 10-storey-high digital moving statue that doubles as a visitor attraction, has received interest from cities worldwide about building the statues, according to its owner.

The company has been set up by entrepreneur Paddy Dunning, the man behind Dublin’s National Wax Museum. He currently hopes to bring the patented tourist attraction concept to 21 cities this year.

Speaking with the Sunday Independent, Mr Dunning named 23 different cities which have already expressed interest in running with the idea. They include Berlin, Dubai, New York, Singapore, Las Vegas, London, Belfast, and Dublin.

“Expressions of interest are coming in from cities every day,” he said. “In the coming weeks we will be selecting the 21 sites in the best cities, chosen from the many cities that have expressed interest.”

The Giant Company, which is backed by Enterprise Ireland, has hired commercial real estate firm CBRE to identify possible suitable sites for the moving statue.

Each giant – including the exhibition at the base, the patented skin, scanning system and all the moving parts – will cost €15m, excluding the cost of the site.

Dunning said the money would be raised through bank debt and investors in each city.

Mr Dunning said the inspiration for his idea came from Jonathan Swift's book Gulliver's Travels.

Inside each exhibition space, visitors would engage with “the giant experience” – a series of exhibits which could include legend and mythology, celebrations of extraordinary men and women, or of unsung heroes from the city and country where it is located.

This could include inventors, scientists, artists, leaders or athletes – or even comic-book superheroes such as Spider-man.

The visitor attraction can be built as a temporary or permanent structure for cultural and commercial use.

According to a release last month, each giant is projected to draw approximately 500,000 visitors each year, generating potential annual revenues of around €12m.

Mr Dunning has been working with Berlin-based architecture studio Dan Pearlman on the creation of the exhibit.

The entrepreneur also had support from global advisory, engineering, planning and design firm Arup during the early stages of design development.

Speaking about securing interest last month, Florence Stanley of CBRE Ireland said: “We’re looking for prime locations, and we are also open to more off-beat sites that need to drive footfall. We are very excited to be working on this project sourcing sites in 21 cities around the world.

“Our immediate priority is securing appropriate locations, and from there finding investors who will see the huge benefits of situating this iconic attraction in their city. Franchising the giant is also an option.”