HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition against plans to erect a landmark mussel sculpture in Padstow.
The artwork – which would feature a giant mussel which opens and closes with the tide – was earmarked to be placed on the harbour wall in the town.
Padstow Town Council was looking at installing the five-metre high sculpture but said that it would do so only if it had public support.
However, the plans have been met with short shrift by locals, who have set up a petition against the artwork and have been posting dozens of messages online outlining their opposition.
Many residents feel that the support shown for the artwork has come only from visitors and are hoping that the town council will keep to its promise and listen to townsfolk.
Local shops and pubs have petitions which are gathering signatures from those opposed.
On the Padstow Community Events page on Facebook, scores of comments were left opposing the sculpture.
Maria Gardiner wrote: "I've looked at the sculptor's website, and he isn't a bad artist and he has given some thoughtful responses to critical comments about his work.
"I just don't understand, though, why anybody would want to continue with such a project when so many people who would have to live with the thing all year round, and not just for the few weeks of their holidays, are opposed to it."
Patrick Bate wrote: "Of all the things Padstow has in its history the thing that denotes it most is a mussel? I think not.
"I'm not against the idea of having a sculpture on the quay but why not have something that is actually derivative of Padstow and why not let a local artist design it? There is a Padstow art group after all, give one of them a chance."
Trevone artist Andy Nicholls designed the sculpture, titled Mytilus, and said he felt it could be a focal point in the town for visitors and residents alike.
Speaking last week he said: "I hope very much that the residents of Padstow will support the sculpture, but if they don't want it, that will be the end of it."
If it does go ahead, the sculpture would cost around £70,000 with funding to be sought from the Arts Council and National Lottery.
The town council is set to hold a public consultation event and exhibition on October 1, from 1pm to 4pm, when residents will be able complete a questionnaire.
What do you think of the mussel art? Vote in our poll to the right of this article.