Friday, June 08, 2007

The Art Of Government Waste


Turning The Place Over? Turning us over, more like


Look, if someone wants to cut out a big piece from an eyesore office block and mechanise it, then fine:

"COMMUTERS will soon be treated to the sensational sight of a city centre eyesore literally turning itself inside out.

The former Yates’s Wine Lodge building, opposite Moorfields station, is now the subject of one of the more eye-catching pieces of art planned for Capital of Culture. Sculptor Richard Wilson has cut out an egg-shaped section of the derelict building’s front and fixed it to a giant pivot. It's called "Turning the Place Over" and once it is officially up and running later this month, the facade will rotate like a huge opening and closing window, giving passers-by a glimpse of the interior."

It's art, and Tyler has No Problems With Art. Whatsoever.

And yes, it does look quite clever and quite eye-catching.

But... but... I don't want to pay £450 grand for it. Which is what taxpayers are stumping up via a couple of Capital of Culture quangos- Culture Company and Liverpool Biennial.

You'd have thought a classy operation like Yates's Wine Lodge would have paid for it themselves.

As we've blogged before, the City of Culture event promises to be one of the biggest moneypits Liverpool has ever seen, and it's seen quite a few. In 2003, the Council estimated its own bill at £1bn. But as we all know, the cost will not be confined to Liverpool Council Tax payers.

Grr.

PS Far be it from me to boast, but I have an Art A Level. Grade A to boot. In those days, it involved drawing real things and painting, and that. And I only got my high grade by copying classmate Steve Bell, a highly gifted artist who has since forged a brilliant career in the entirely commercial and competitive world of political cartooning. I presume these days A Level Art mainly involves learning how to blag money from arts quangos.

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