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VOTE : Padstow tidal mussel art sparks petition

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: September 21, 2012

Mussel
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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.

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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.

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

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  • Newquaygreen  |  October 30 2012, 11:30AM

    Cornwall is in England, lets get that straight first. As for the statue how about one of a second home owner, they have all the power in Cornwall

    Rate   -1
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  • Taxman100  |  October 12 2012, 12:16PM

    I must confess my ignorance about Padstow. I did not realise it was famous for mussel farming. Perhaps a suitable site could be found for the sculpture somewhere along the Fal, and I would think there would be many in the area who would welcome it. Truro_Cornwall. Loved your second sentence, (Father Ted) and I am still laughing. But, please don't class all of us 'old Cornish gits' as being the same in nature - we are not, and many of us look, and work, toward a brighter future for Cornwall and its youth.

    Rate   -1
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  • gemmaandco  |  October 04 2012, 8:49PM

    I think its a brilliant and new ideal, its not offensive in any way. I have lived in cornwall my whole life and it and the some of the people in it needs to come into the 21st century. The local people dont own the land the only live on it. They would go crazy if they was going to close the tate gallery, thats art its not covering up a landscape its just added a mark to a small part of land. I am fully behind it.

    Rate   -5
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  • cweatherhill  |  October 02 2012, 5:27PM

    The sculture is clever, but it is not Padstow. Padstow is, and remains, a Cornish town with a working harbour. It is not a luvvie art gallery, nor should it be turned into one. The sculpture deserves display - so do it in an art gallery designed for the purpose. And can the Press and the BBC - just for once - mention Padstow without throwing Stein's name into it every time? Padstow is not Stein, and Stein is not Padstow. In any case, the BBC are not permitted to advertise, so why do they advertise Stein's business every time Padstow hits the news? Many other local businesses would love the same sort of treatment (and probably deserve it more).

    Rate   5
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  • Truro_England  |  October 01 2012, 12:37PM

    @by THWOGGLE You are so right!! Cornrwall always remind me of Father Ted and Craggy Island shallow minded people living under they rocks and Cornwall is there world.. But like many who speak out I will get loads of abuse even thou myself and my family were born in Cornwall, but like many young people here i'm feed up of rubbish jobs and being told how we have to live and what can be built by a load of old retired people who dont care what us young people in Cornwall think and want. I want in Truro a better big cinema, a better swimmingpool, a KFC, a Toys r Us but these things will never be built!!

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  • rt1379  |  September 21 2012, 8:43PM

    £70,000 ?????

    Rate   2
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  • Lannwedhenek  |  September 21 2012, 6:25PM

    THWOGGLE? cant say I know what your speaking of.. bridge is there come and join me in England. If your so saddened by Cornwall. Suppose the questions are 1. Do local or rather indigenous people have any rights at all? 2. Does the system work both ways? 3. Does our town need anymore joy and culture given as its home to one of the oldest musical traditions in Europe and a myriad of cultures visit every year. That brings joy beyond measure to its inhabitants 4. Is the sculpture in keeping with the town? the answers should be... Yes local people of Cornwall in this case Padstow do have rights and the system is designed to make sure their wishes are not ridden over rough shod. Padstow is a great place that has a huge maritime history amongst a plethora of other things, but no connection at all with mussel farming and is in fact lacking in mussels altogether, unlike Trevone that has millions. My posts are not a slight on anyone else or anywhere else but it remains true that Padstow people should have a say in what happens to their town especially when the sculptor keeps moving the goal posts and changing his mind in an endeavor to push it through anyway. As for earning a crust well wouldn't we all like to earn £70000 for one sculpture.... most people in Padstow and Cornwall at large would take several years to earn that much. How can you reconcile that against such a waste of money when other things more pressing face all of Cornwall's towns.

    Rate   15
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  • PaddyTrembath  |  September 21 2012, 2:02PM

    THWOGGLE, you're never too old!

    Rate   17
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  • THWOGGLE  |  September 21 2012, 1:45PM

    Cornish phillistines come out in their droves again. These installations are both traditional and contemporary and highlight Cornish connections. It has become the norm for locals to mank about any change at all and that is why Kernow is stuck in the doldrums, and looks like it always will be. We will never have an Angel of the North or such. The clamped minds of Cornwall stop everything. No wonder we are deprived. I'd move if Iwasn't so old and had local family!

    Rate   -24
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  • THWOGGLE  |  September 21 2012, 1:44PM

    Cornish phillistines come out in their droves again. These installations are both traditional and contemporary and highlight Cornish connections. It has become the norm for locals to mank about any change at all and that is why Kernow is stuck in the doldrums, and looks like it always will be. We will never have an Angel of the North or such. The clamped minds of Cornwall stop everything. No wonder we are deprived. If I wasn't so old, I'd move from this stagnant backwater.

    Rate   -21
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