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Controversial Padstow mussel sculpture roundly rejected

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: October 20, 2012

REJECTED:  Andy Nicholls pictured at the public consultation with a model of the sculpture.

REJECTED: Andy Nicholls pictured at the public consultation with a model of the sculpture.

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PADSTOW residents have given a resounding thumbs down to a proposal to install a giant mussel sculpture in the harbour.

In a public vote, 397 were against the artwork conceived by Trevone sculptor Andy Nicholls, while just 22 thought it would be an asset to the town.

Padstow Town Council said it had agreed with Mr Nicholls to release the figures prior to the original voting deadline, although those would also be counted.

The proposed 5m installation, featuring a giant mussel which opens and closes with the tide, was earmarked to be placed on the harbour wall, but many local residents began opposing it almost as soon as the plan was announced.

The artwork, titled Mytilus, celebrates the hooked Padstow mussel, a type unique to the area. Mr Nicholls believed the installation will be a focal point.

He held a public exhibition and consultation exercise at the Church Rooms on October 1, where people could cast their vote on his project through a questionnaire.

Mr Nicholls said this week he would not be commenting on the results of the vote until the town council and harbour commissioners discussed the outcome of the pubic consultation.

He said: "In response to a recent request from Padstow Town Council, I will be forwarding them a report for review at their next meeting.

"I thank all concerned for attending the event and for having taken the time to respond.

"I will comment further when the two committees have met to discuss the outcome of the consultation."

The town council and harbour commissioners had stated that the sculpture would only go ahead if the people of Padstow wanted it.

Mr Nicholls and a design engineer worked on the installation for 18 months and the artist would have applied for Arts Council and National Lottery grants to meet the £70,000 cost of constructing it.

Padstow town clerk Sue Lee said: "These results will be taken to the next harbour commission and town council meetings."

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