Nelson’s downtown sculpture collection is a man down after Sergio Raffo’s Man Waiting was removed on Friday.
“It was damaged unfortunately,” said Nelson’s cultural development officer Joy Barrett. “We’re not entirely sure what happened, but the lower elbow of the guy in the sculpture was totally chipped off. It didn’t look that bad, but it affected the stability so we had to take it down because there was a chance if somebody did that again the whole thing would topple.”
Man Waiting is one of five sculptures in Nelson’s downtown put up this past spring as a public art project sponsored by the City of Nelson. It was located in the amenity area in the 400 block of Baker Street.
Raffo is a Kaslo-based artist whose creation was a man standing on his head with a ball balancing at his feet. The sculpture itself is over seven feet tall so the damage posed a safety risk.
Barrett said the sculpture looks like it is made of metal, but it’s constructed of a more fragile stoneware which could have been part of the problem.
“That specific amenity area is a busy one, but I doubt whether anybody did it on purpose,” said Barrett.
Raffo is coming to Nelson to pick up the sculpture and Barrett hopes it can be repaired and put back in place.
Meanwhile, Barrett said the response to the public sculptures so far this summer has been positive.
“It’s been amazing,” said Barrett. “People are really excited to have public art in the downtown. We always bill ourselves as an arts town, but there isn’t a lot of public art in the city. People have been happy to see it.”
The City is planning an event on the September 27-29 weekend to coincide with the nationally observed Culture Days. The hope is to have the artists in town to talk about their pieces — which are for public sale — and answers questions.
The plan is to swap out the downtown sculptures with a new batch in 2014.