Saturday, February 16, 2008

Superlambanana could be leaving Liverpool

I am rather fond of the superlambanana actually.

So the news this week that the Japanese artist Taro Chiezo is now saying we only had it on loan for 10 years and he now wants to sell it for £2million to the highest bidder is of some concern.

I read on the Echo website that someone was suggesting the council should buy it. I doubt very much if anyone would think that a council in as much of a financial mess as ours could spend that much money on a work of art, but perhaps the lottery (or the Tate?) could help. It strikes me that if the lambanana is not bought by the nation it could even leave the country.

According to Halton council's website, "the unusual artwork was created to warn of the dangers of genetically modified food, whilst being appropriate to the city of Liverpool due to the port's rich history in the trade of lambs and the import of bananas."

I didnt know about the GM food angle until today. I thought it was only concerned with Liverpool's trade.

Does this make it more, or less, reasonable that it should stay here?

What is certain is that the city has embraced it fully and every tourist shop in the city sells mini lambananas decorated in different colours - it is our version of Manchester's cows in that sense.

I would like us to keep it, but I think £2million is a ridiculous figure in the current climate.

What would the legality be if we got someone to "knock up" a copy of it and display that instead? There are so many copies of it already, 100 smaller versions are planned to be displayed round the city in June this year as part of our city of culture celebrations. See here for details on the Liverpool Art and Culture blog.

What do you think? Should we campaign to raise the money and keep it here in Liverpool? Should we campaign at least that it stays in the country? Or should we tell the sculptor to take it away and instead display our mini versions?

Or do you think I am superlambananas for even caring?

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