The 14-metre high, 45 tonne sculpture has been sitting in Harlingen’s harbour for two years, with the city having failed to find it a spot thus far
Translated by Thomas Ansell
An enormous sculptural work of art by the American artist Frank Stella is likely to finally find a home in Harlingen, on the Tjerk Hiddessluizen, where it will become a symbolic entry gate for the city. As the Omrop Fryslân reports, the giant sculpture had been part of Joop Mulder’s (the recently-deceased founder of the Oerol Festival) plans for a ribbon of art stretching across the Wadden coast called ‘Sense of Place’.
The piece was initially designed in 2001 to take a spot in Miami (the plan fell through), before the French city of Cherbourg decided that it would like to buy the piece- though the price became a sticking point, with the city asked to pay over 3 million euros.
It was at this point that Mulder stepped in, with the suggestion that the work could find a place on the Wadden Coast as part of his Sense of Place project. Frank Stella himself thought that placing the sculpture on the coast was an excellent idea, calling Harlingen “wonderful”. Wethouder Erik de Groot is very happy with the sculpture, too, saying that it will provide a ‘boost’ for the city.
However, the city council still has to give the final green light to the project, with some money required to install the work.