Planning Permission Sought For Kitsch Statue To Mark Olympic Torch Handover To Rio
Plans to erect a giant fibreglass replica of the Rio De Janeiro ‘Redeemer Statue’ on top of London’s posh Primrose Hill have been revealed. The project will be funded by the Brazilian government to mark the end of the London 2012 Olympics and the hand over of the torch to the Rio Olympic committee for the 2016 Games. The installation, is based on the famous statue which overlooks Rio harbour from Corcovado mountain.
The proposal goes before Camden’s Town Hall planning department in February. The original consultancy was employed by Brazil’s tourist agency who held a public meeting to display the designs and this project was chosen as the most representational of the nation. People living in nearby Hampstead and Belsize Park have called the idea kitsch and completely out of character with the local Georgian and Victorian architecture. Some local residents have commented; “It may be quite upsetting and threatening for the non-christians and non-religious of us, out here.” But my favourite comment was; “This idea can only be described as a proposal for an outrageous act of ‘landscape holiganism’. If erected I only hope Banksy defaces it as soon as possible.”
Primrose Hill is home to celebrities Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Sadie Frost, Gwyneth Paltrow, Helena Bonham – Carter, David Walliams and Politician David Miliband. Friends of Primrose Hill chairman Malcolm Kafetz said in the Camden New Journal: “I do not see why it should go there. I think it sounds unsuitable for a piece like this. It does not represent anything of England or Primrose Hill. Primrose Hill is a place for people to go and enjoy the view. I will be bringing this up with the Friends committee.”The Primrose Hill Community Association’s Maureen Betts said she had been approached and that they were planning to hold a meeting to discuss the plans with the designers before they go to Camden Council’s planning committee with the scheme. She added: “I personally would not mind if it was temporary and it depends on what it looks like.”Her views were echoed by the Primrose Hill Conservation Area Committee’s Pam White.She said: “I have no objections if it is temporary and we are looking forward to seeing the designs. The Royal Parks have already desecrated the top of Primrose Hill against our advice.”Primrose Hill Lib Dem councillor Chris Naylor said he wasn’t sure a 30ft statue of Christ with his arms outstretched was quite what the area needed. He added: “If they want to put something on the hill I think they need to get some more original ideas. This sounds a bit like some marketing brainstorm which hasn’t been thought through.”
Our thoughts at ArtLyst are: It its a temporary installation and the Kitscher the better!!! Why not get Jeff Koons to cover it in flowers or get a Rio artist to spray it with street art. it will be great for the local area. I only wish they would do something about the redesign of the summit viewing area and reinstate the granite cobbles, removing the gravel that is blighting this beauty spot.