Thursday, 19 June 2008

Fine Art…? Not Here, Comrade…!

Workers at Southend’s council offices have more to worry about, it seems, than their support for the Labour Party:
A bronze statue depicting a mythological rape has finally found a new home at the mayor of Southend's official residence.

The controversial statue of Leda and the Swan was specially commissioned by Southend Council in the Sixties and first stood outside the courthouse in Victoria Avenue.

Later it was moved to the Civic Square and then to the courtyard of the Palace Theatre, in Westcliff. Later, it was moved to the Civic Centre when it caused outrage among staff.
This thing has migrated more often than a real swan! But what could possibly get the council workers so outraged about this (taxpayers might get upset at the cost of these moves, naturally…)?
Workers claimed the statue, representing the rape of Leda by the Greek god Zeus disguised as a swan, glorified rape as an art form.
Yeah, I had to read that twice too! Obviously, a classical education
is not a requirement for a Southend Council job. I suppose the ‘don’t be so bloody stupid!’ approach didn’t occur to them either?

Try as I might, I couldn’t find an image of the sculpture anywhere online, and it’s obviously far too scandalous for the ‘Echo’ to show. Still, the Mayor of Southend has come up with an innovative approach to this troublesome piece of art – take it home!
Rob Tinlin, Southend Council's chief executive and town clerk, said : "The statue of Leda and the Swan was located at the Civic Centre until a suitable location was found.

"The statue is permanently on display in the garden of the mayor's residence, Porters in Southchurch Road.

"It is in an appropriately landscaped area next to the pond."
I wonder how much that little fiasco cost the taxpayer..?

5 comments:

patently said...

"It is in an appropriately landscaped area next to the pond."

The mind boggles. What form of landscaping do they consider to be an appropriate setting for a sculpture depicting a rape?

JuliaM said...

Heh! Beats me...

I think someone in the council PR department drew the short straw when talking to the 'Echo' over this.... :)

Bill Quango MP said...

That is one of keeping the herons away

dominic said...

So bloody utterly stupid and wholly typical of the incompetent money-wasting moronic goons who run Southend Council, who will always find a way to neglect doing what needs to be done (several important construction or reconstruction projects spring immediately to mind), instead deciding they'd better bung some money to their consultant mates to draw up an unrealisable programme that will have to be scrapped and replaced by another one drawn up by the same consultants. Ad infinitum.

(And there is now a pic of hte statue on the Echo page: http://www.echo-news.co.uk/display.var.2350139.0.0.php?act=complaint&cid=1674843_

It's ugly, but far from the ugliest erection from the 1960s along Victoria Avenue

JuliaM said...

"there is now a pic of hte statue on the Echo page..."

Yes, hideous isn't it? Someone commented on the paper that it ought to be sold for its scrap value. It's hard to disagree.

Just not for the barking mad 'reasoning' of the workers!

"It's ugly, but far from the ugliest erection from the 1960s along Victoria Avenue."

I hear the Civic Centre itself is not exactly a thing of beauty, except to fans of 60's concrete....