Monday, 27 August 2012

New Flags Dispute for Northern Ireland?

The Giant's Causeway is a World Heritage Site. UNESCO have determined that it contains, "superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance." Why then has the German  artist Hans Peter Kuhn been permitted to erect one hundred and forty, "flags" below the cliff face at Port Noffer? In the opinion of the writer these add nothing to the view, rather they detract from it.

These "flags," are not what most people would even regard as flags. They are rigid squares of some man made plastic measuring perhaps thirty inches by thirty inches. On one side they are coloured yellow and on the other red. They are attached to short metal posts and there is a swivel arrangement which, depending on the direction of the wind, results in either the red side or yellow side being visible. They all caused the writer to see red!

This is not Herr Kuhn's first artistic installation. The National Trust website tells us that he was acclaimed in Singapore for suspending dozens of moving neon tubes at the Orchard Central Mall. Well done him. Maybe this type of art suits modern man made structures, but it does nothing to enhance the natural landscape. The one redeeming fact about this garish pollution of the coastline is that the, "flags" are to be removed in early November. Hooray! Not a day too soon.  The cost of the project is reported to have been £150,000, shared between the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. Money well spent?

The writer did not detain himself at the Giant's Causeway overly long. The view was not to be appreciated. A recuperative snifter at The Nook was required before wending through the dunes to Portballintrae and from thence home.

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