Reignited debate on public art has opponents once again throwing shade at a hazardous northeast Calgary sculpture.

A report destined for Monday’s council meeting, highlighting the impact of September’s decision to press the pause button on the city’s contentious public art program, suggests new life for Wishing Well — a $559,000 orb of polished metal currently languishing in a city warehouse after burning holes in an admirer’s jacket — at a cost of an additional $180,000.

Located near the bottom of a list of suspended art projects and listed as a “high profile” matter of social and media interest, the report on Wishing Well suggests engineers have “… come up with a solution” to issues caused by its reflective surface.

The report did not provide details as to what this solution might entail.

The entry also suggests Genesis Centre — the northeastern Calgary wellness centre and community hub where Wishing Well was installed in the fall of 2012 — would like the piece back “once the alteration has been completed.”

CALGARY, AB.; OCTOBER 10, 2014 — Nimrodel Donahue’s coat which were burned by the Wishing Well art piece outside the Genesis Centre. (Courtesy Nimrodel Donahue/Calgary Herald) For City story by Jason Markusoff.

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Nimrodel Donahue’s coat, burned by the Wishing Well art piece outside the Genesis Centre in 2012.

An additional $180,000 would bring the sculpture’s price tag to $739,000.

Wishing Well was deemed a safety hazard when sunlight reflected off its highly polished surface, concentrating to melt holes in an onlooker’s jacket.

It was fenced off in 2012 and shipped to a city warehouse in 2014 after efforts by its designers and city staff failed to make the shiny showpiece safe for visitors.

The price tag for …read more

Source:: Calgary Herald

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