Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Calgary City Council Suspends Public Art Program after Controversies

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Calgary City Council Suspends Public Art Program after Controversies

Article excerpt

Calgary council suspends public art program

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Calgary city council has voted unanimously to put the public art program on hold pending a review.

The controversial program has been a lightning rod for public outrage in recent years.

The policy requires one per cent of the capital budget of major infrastructure projects to be spent on art.

But Calgarians have widely criticized works such as the Travelling Light, a large sculpture that some have mockingly dubbed the Big Blue Ring.

More recently, Bowfort Towers -- a steel-and-rock sculpture by New York artist Del Geist -- came under fire for its $500,000 price tag as well as controversy over whether it appropriated Indigenous culture.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi has acknowledged the city's public art policy needs to change, but he also called criticism of Bowfort Towers unfair and compared it to a ``lynch mob. …

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