Sunday 16 December 2018

Strandhill sculpture is removed

Sorcha Crowley

There are concerns that a 20 year old monument removed by the Council from Strandhill may not be restored to its original plinth on the promenade.

The high sculpture vanished in an early morning raid by the County Council last Monday week, February 22nd.

The stainless steel monument was removed by council workers between 8 and 8.30am.

It wasn't long before uproar ensued on social media and the 'SOS Save Our Sculpture' Facebook page was set up by concerned residents.

A spokesperson for Sligo County Council told The Sligo Champion that the sculpture was "temporarily removed following recent storms" for examination and any necessary repairs.

They added that it is expected that the sculpture will be restored in "a matter of weeks."

Ortwin Reintjes is a personal friend of the German artist Klaus Gundchen who created the sculpture twenty years ago. It was funded by the community of Strandhill.

Ortwin was the first to alert Gundchen of his sculpture's removal.

"He was a bit upset of course. Why was there no communication beforehand? He's considering his options," said Ortwin, who flew to Germany last Thursday to meet with Klaus.

"He was lending it to the Community of Strandhill, it's a real community project," he added.

Ortwin denies the bolts were loose on the monument as has been rumoured: "This thing was rock solid. There are four 20cm long bolts into the ground internally," he said.

He plans to meet the Council engineer Michael Carty this week to discuss the issue and about the location of the monument.

"Some people are talking about putting in another monument there. I don't know if the Council are going to return it to the same spot," he said.

"Some people are saying it could go in to the car park," he added.

The monument is believed to be in a Council-owned quarry in Ballisodare.

Sligo Champion