Blackpool’s Frankenstein sculpture could be next to go

Town Hall Chiefs have allocated an annual maintenance budget of £30,000 for the upkeep of public art, which includes famous pieces such as the Mirrorball on the South Promenade.

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The Tidal Organ on Blackpool seafront will be demolished due to safety concerns

The Mirrorball, which received a major overhaul last year, is one of 10 installations that make up the Great Promenade Show on the South Promenade which ran between 2001 and 2005.

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The future of Frankenstein is under discussion

However, a report to the Tourism, Economy and Communities Review Board warns that many parts have now fallen into disrepair.

These include the Frankenstein Project sculpture opposite the Solaris Center, the future of which currently hangs in the balance. Talks are ongoing between the council and the artist to consider renovating or decommissioning it.

The Tidal Organ, near Sandcastle Water Park, was dismantled in December.

A report detailing the condition of other works of art indicates that some are corroded, need repainting or have failed lighting characteristics.

The fiber optic in the Glam Rocks is failing

The swivel wind shelters on the boardwalk across from Pleasure Beach need work to fix the bearings, while the fiber optics in the Glam Rocks, also on the south boardwalk, have malfunctioned, affecting their lighting.

The stainless steel panels of the Water Wings on South Prom need repainting, and a statue of ballet dancers on Clifton Street in the city center had to be repaired recently after being damaged by a vehicle.

A report by Carolyn Primett, head of arts at Blackpool Council, says many public works of art have lasted beyond their intended lifespan.

The report adds that a request was made by the council’s asset management group in September 2019 “to review the state of the city’s public art collection“.

Water Wings feature needs repainting

The aim was to put in place a strategy and a maintenance budget to ensure that artworks owned by the council could continue to be displayed until “they reach the end of their artistic and economically viable life”.

An annual maintenance budget of £30,000 has been agreed “to undertake condition surveys and repair work to restore public works of art to their original condition wherever possible”.

Where this was not possible, the aim would be to “decommission them at end of life if that was more appropriate, taking into account issues of safety, economic viability and the wishes of the artists”.

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