Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Red Bull gives you wings

When good public sculpture turns bad there’s not much to do other than pull it down and so Saddam, Stalin and Marcos bit the dust. But what if the pull-down technique stood to offend people you didn't want to piss off (well not immediately anyway).

In Hong Kong we saw a classic answer to this question. The César Baldaccini bronze sculpture The flying Frenchman stands outside the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.  It was donated to the city by the Cartier Foundation back in 1992 under the title The spirit of Freedom. That was ok for a few years but when Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 the new owners decided that the ‘Freedom’ thing had to go. So it went.