Posted: Fri 1st Nov 2019

Petition launched against plans to install a new sculpture ‘celebrating’ labourers and craftsmen who built Flint Castle

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Nov 1st, 2019


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A petition has been launched against the latest plans for artwork to be installed on Flint foreshore.

A new sculpture, made from nearly 300 ‘slender vertical columns’ approximately 9m high is set to be installed on the coastal path just north of the Flint Castle.

Those behind the petition say the ‘iconic and ‘thought provoking’ sculpture will be an “insult to Wales and its history”

Arts consultancy firm Addo and Flintshire Council, which are overseeing the project in partnership with Cadw, initially shortlisted five artists for the £62,500 contract.

As revealed by Deeside.com earlier this week, Bristol-based artist Rich White has been chosen to produce a sculpture.

Mr White says the artwork celebrates “the labourers and craftsmen who – some willingly and some forcibly – built Flint Castle.”

In 2017 the Welsh Government proposed to install a 30m rusted “ring of steel” sculpture costing over £300,000 on the banks of The Dee Estuary.

The ring sculpture- funded by the Welsh Government and Arts Council of Wales – was, at the time, described as “inappropriate and insulting.”

The ‘ring of steel’ is the description given to the chain of castles across Wales that were built to conquer and subjugate Wales.

A petition calling for the plans to be binned gained over 11,000 of signatures, Ken Skates, the Welsh Economy Minister eventually scrapped the plans.

Former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood criticised the latest plans, the Rhondda AM Tweeted: “Why would we want to “celebrate” Welsh oppression & exploitation.”

The latest petition titled, “Flint Castle does not need an art piece to “commemorate” the oppression of the Welsh.” has gathered nearly 800 signatures since it was launched on Thursday. 

It states: “In 2017, Flint Castle was going to have a large art piece installed to commemorate and give context to the construction of the castle and those who built it.

However the art piece took the design of an iron ring, a symbol of oppression from the English conquest of Wales.

Thankfully through petitions and campaigning, that art piece was scrapped, however it was recently announced that a new piece will be taking its place at Flint Castle, and it will represent the same issues of the first proposed art piece.

This art and the insult to Wales and its history should not be built, and it most certainly should not be placed at a castle, a symbol of warfare, and oppression.

The Welsh Government need to stop this insane campaign to glorify the English conquest of Wales and actually focus on learning Welsh history.

This art piece is costing the Welsh tax payer an estimated £62,500. Maybe the Welsh Government should put that money where it can be used towards more meaningful things, and not a giant circular sculpture outside a castle.”

Deeside.com contacted Addo on Monday for a comment. 

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