Belfast Telegraph

Falls art could give Rise to danger

By Lindy McDowell

The artwork known as Rise (also as the Balls on the Falls) continues to rise on the Broadway roundabout. It currently looks like a giant climbing frame.

For those who haven't seen it, it consists of one gigantic metal mesh ball with a smaller one inside and spikes all around. As the website puts it, this will be lit up "to symbolise the rising of the sun and new hope for Belfast's future. It aims to help revitalise Belfast, bringing a new focus to the area and projecting a vibrant, confident image of the city".

You could not be bad to that. And I'm sure it will look truly magnificent when finished. So I don't want to sound too negative about something which is costing us nigh on a half a million quid (gulp!).

But I'm assuming they will have some sort of deterrent in place to stop fearless youths climbing upon it. Won't they?

Our problem here is that not everyone treats art - especially street art - with the reverence which the creator presumably anticipated. That big Scalextric tangle of metal better known as the Spirit of Belfast (God help us!) in Cornmarket is a weekend gathering site for teenagers who clamber all over it. Granted they don't do much harm there - either to the artwork or to themselves. But I worry that Rise might carry more potential danger. Will it be covered by insurance just in case? And, um ... who'll be paying for that?

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