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Sunday, December 8, 2013

statues .... maintenance ~ creator of horse head sclpture cleans it also....

Heard of Augean Stable……. Augean stable" most often appears in the phrase "clean the Augean stable," which usually means "clear away corruption" or "perform a large and unpleasant task that has long called for attention." Augeas, the mythical king of Elis, kept great stables that held 3,000 oxen and had not been cleaned for thirty years -- until Hercules was assigned the job. Hercules accomplished this task by causing two rivers to run through the stables. [thanks Meriam Webster]
Dr Annie Besant in a forlorn state....

I had recently posted on actor Sivaji Ganesan statue at Gandhi beach near QMC – the removal of which was snowballing into discussions……….. there are so many of them dotting the Marina beach – of  Poets : Kambar, Ilango, Avvaiyar, Thiruvallur, Bharathiyar, Barathidasan stand amidst Kannagi, Gandhiji, Kamarajar, Nethaji Subash Chandrabose, Annie Besant, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Sivananda, Robert Caldwell, GU Pope, Tamil thatha Saminatha Iyer  as also the one of ‘triumph of Labour’. ~  then there are more colonial vestiges around the city of Chennai aka Madras

Those travelling in the arterial Mount Road would never have missed out the baron on horse standing for more than 150 years …. The Monroe statue – that of Maj Genl Sir Thomas Munro, 1st Baronet, a Scottish soldier and colonial administrator who was an army officer of the East India Company.  Have heard many stories that the sculptor Sir Francis Chantrey, upon realising that he had created an equestrian statue sans saddle or stirrups, committed suicide [noted Historian V. Sriram has clarified that it is a myth- for Chantrey died of a heart disease].

In Jan 2013, the Apex Court categorically prohibited all States and Union territories from allowing statues or other structures to be built on roads, pavements or any other public place. “You cannot allow statues at public places. It is not a private property. Each and every citizen has a right to the place, which cannot be taken away by the government,” the court said, asking state chief secretaries and Union territory administrators to ensure compliance. The bench of Justices R.M. Lodha and S.J. Mukhopadhyaya expressed concern at the way political leaders’ statues were being installed, violating citizens’ right to free access and movement.

The Bench passed this order even as it directed status quo on unveiling of a statue of Sundaram Nadar at Neyyatinkara on the Thiruvananthapuram-Kanyakumari highway, on an application seeking permission for unveiling it. The Bench said: “Henceforth, the State [Kerala] government would not grant any permission for statue or construction of any structure at public places, [on] roads or [at] any place of public utility… This order shall also apply to all other States and Union Territories.” However, it would not apply to installation of traffic utility structures like streetlights.

The Bench scathingly observed that funds should better be utlised for uplifting the poor than glorifying leaders by statues and added that each and every citizen has a right to the public place that cannot be taken away by any person. Such practice must be discontinued.”

The first observation that one makes on most statues that they are poorly maintained – are unclean with so much bird droppings ~ crows here -  and are cleaned only when some political leaders are to visit that place !  One can perhaps take solace that UK is not different by reading this post which appeared in Daily Mail.  It is about artist Nic Fiddian-Green who crafted 35ft horse's head sculpture having to scale new heights to clean prominent London landmark himself.

An artist who crafted a sculpture of a horse's head in central London was so distressed at the local pigeons making a mess of his landmark he has climbed the 35ft high structure to clean it himself. Nic Fiddian-Green is known the world over for his incredible signature sculptures of horses inspired by his own chestnut hunter George. His bronze horse creation Still Water is now a permanent feature in Marble Arch but it appears the pigeons loved it as much as London sightseers - leaving the prominent statue in need of a spring clean.

The artist was lifted up in a crane as he decided  to clean his bronze horse sculpture; he was suspended over the bronze horse in a cherry picker before proceeding to wash it down with a sponge.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
4th Dec 2013.

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