scallop of the east

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Jacki McNeill, editor of the fortnightly Aldeburgh Gazette, [talking about the rigidity of the sculpture, says] “If we get a howling north-westerly and a surge tide it will simply fall over.”

“I’m sure there will also be acts of vandalism. It’s an invitation in the summer when we have our fair share of unsavoury visitors from all sections of society braying. They’ll go up there for parties. They’re going to get out of their head on one thing or another.”

Mrs McNeill regards the change of heart at Suffolk Coastal as a victory for democracy, for she has been “inundated” with complaints against the sculpture.

“There has been so little support for this thing in the town. The depth of feeling cuts right across every section of this town, from the fishermen to people like knights and peers of the realm.

“It’s seen as an act of sheer arrogance to place this in the middle of one of the only bits of untouched beach in the area, and a bit of coast which is very deeply loved by local people. I’m incensed by it. Who do they think they are?”

Humphrey Burton, the former head of music and arts at BBC Television, used to support the Scallop project but has since expressed his disappointment with it.

“It’s hard to keep silent when one’s regular walk by the open sea has been so casually violated,” he wrote in a letter to The Guardian. “A peaceful and honourable solution ought to be found before vandalism rears its ugly head. I’ve heard talk of its being toppled, Saddam-like, at dead of night.”

Daily Telegraph, 24th January, 2004




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