David Staples: City council spends $1 million on a sculpture and puts it on top of a garage. Huh!?


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David Staples  •  Edmonton Journal Public artwork by German artist Thorsten Goldberg called 53° 30’N is seen on the yet to open Edmonton Transit’s Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage on Fort Road in Edmonton on Thursday, July 4, 2019. Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

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City council has punched itself in the face.

It has taken a public art policy that was already controversial and made it radioactive by erecting the single most expensive piece of public art in Edmonton’s history on top of an industrial garage on a grimy section of a commuter road.

This is the equivalent of you splurging on the most expensive painting, photograph or sculpture you’ve ever purchased, then putting it above your back alley garage door.

Yet council approved a $1-million sculpture that’s now been built on the new city transit garage on Fort Road.

Public artwork from German artist Thorsten Goldberg called 53° 30’N is seen on the yet to open Edmonton Transit’s Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage on Fort Road in Edmonton on Thursday, July 4, 2019. Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

This decision was wrong-headed in several ways.

First, council spent a ton of money on public art. This is always a touchy thing to do but especially so in a time when many folks are unemployed, under-employed or fearing unemployment, and when city council has also…

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