Flooding Ilfracombe harbour

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel news

Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe before the waters break!

Hats off to the man interviewed by the BBC who said that when Verity’s waters broke they’d flood Ifracombe harbour. Such a sense of humour is needed at all times but perhaps even more so when a controversial piece of public art is installed.
Damien Hurst has loaned the authorities Verity for 20 years and she will stand on the pier, twenty-two metres tall and tower over the seafront. Verity is a naked, heavily pregnant woman carrying a sword in one hand. Clearly visible in the womb is the soon-to-be born babe, hence the sharp and clever comment of the BBC interviewee.
The local council says that Verity will encourage visitors; locals are split as to whether this will be the case. More stalwarts of the Victorian resort who have returned year-after-year might stay away in disgust. Will the number it attracts be enough to outweigh those who will stay away? Will people come and see it just once meaning that the effect on visitor numbers will be eroded over time? Or will the hubbub be forgotten in a year or two and Verity will become an accepted part of the town?
A least Verity is a loan so council money hasn’t been spent other than one security and improvement facilities. So locals can’t complain too much about how useful the money could have been spent elsewhere.
In the last hundred years public art has altered from statues commemorating dignitaries to a wide array of ideas in all sorts of materials. The fact that – as many people have pointed out – buildings and edifices have been criticised when first unveiled hasn’t stopped them becoming visitor attractions.
The problem that Ilfracombe – and all other places have – is whether there will be enough to keep the attention of the visitor when they arrive or whether they will just look and drive straight on.
Are you planning on seeing Verity or will you stay away?

Image © North Devon Council

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