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Broadway sculpture scrapped amid escalating steel costs

By Gráinne McWilliams

Escalating steel costs has put paid to plans for a 45 metre high sculpture on one of south Belfast's busiest roundabouts.

The Trillian sculpture, designed by American artist Ed Carpenter, was originally set to be built on the new Broadway roundabout by the end of 2008 at the agreed cost of £400,000.

However, the rising price of steel and other raw materials has meant costs soared to £600,000, prompting Belfast City Council and its project partners to pull the plug on the Trillian in favour of launching a competition for a new sculpture.

Mr Carpenter's design was chosen from nearly 400 other entries as part of a worldwide competition launched by Belfast City Council in 2005.

"The escalating cost of steel has unfortunately meant that the Trillian is no longerviable within the available budget of £400,000," said a spokeswoman for Belfast City Council.

"The current economic climate is also having an effect with increasing costs for all raw materials."

Speaking about the news, Balmoral representative Bob Stoker said it was "disappointing to have to go back to the drawing board again", but that he was "quite confident that we will have an art piece suitable for the money that's available".

"It's just one of those things - the high price of steel and other materials - we just didn't have the money. It was much easier to go back and start all over again," said Mr Stoker.

"The council is still looking for a sculpture design that symbolises the renewal of Belfast and what will be different this time around is that the new steering group over-seeing the project will have members from the Village community and the St James' community, as well as elected representatives, which didn't happen before.

"I'm looking forward to the communities being involved in this overall regeneration package of not just the physical area of the motorway but also the Village itself."

Artists looking to have their idea considered for the new project are asked to visit

"Up to six artists will be short-listed in early September 2008 who will have the opportunity to create maquettes (models) of their proposal and present them to an expert panel in October 2008," said a council spokeswoman.

Belfast Telegraph

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