Slatten of the South?

After Antony Gormley’s rather fabulous Angel of the North are we now to have Hirst’s Slatten of the South?

Hirst’s proposal is for a bronze statue of a pregnant woman holding a sword aloft. At 20.25 metres tall I can’t help feeling that the sword is there to pip the Angel of the North at 20 metres tall.

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Hirst is a consumate businessman that’s for sure. I am slightly suspicious that Hirst owns a restaurant in Ilfracombe and that if approved the town would have the statue for 20 years. What happens after that?

I love contemporary public art. I think Marble Arch and many corners of London are made magical by public scupltures and certainly a piece of Hirst in Ilfracombe will be a draw for much needed tourist revenue.

I can’t help thinking though that after David Hockney’s gift to the nation earlier this year it seems a bit curlish of Hirst to install a piece with a view to removing it when it has become a piece of the landscape and identity of the town.

I had a heated discussion with a group of friends recently about who would have the greatest lasting legacy- Hirst or Hockney?