Who demolished the bandstand?

For years there was a bandstand in Arthur Square in Belfast.It was a landmark, which I'd guess had never been bombed. Artistically, if it was still standing I'm sure it could represent the determination of the people of Belfast who had suffered during 30 years of troubles. Of course it was demolished giving the Northern Ireland Executive, or whoever, an opportunity to waste more tax payers money.

The Department for Social Development’s Streets Ahead Project has invited a number of internationally renowned artists to submit proposals for an artwork for Arthur Square in Belfast city centre.
Arthur Square is a key location and will be a major point of access to the Victoria Square Development. The artwork will provide the finishing touch to the refurbishment of Arthur Square by creating an iconic structure that will be recognised as special to the revival of the city centre.
The final selection of the Artwork will be decided by public vote, which will run from Monday the 22nd October to Sunday 4th November 2007.
This is your opportunity to have your say. If you have already seen the artworks that have made the final list then go ahead and vote for your favourite artwork online.



ejh said...

Huh. I was under the impression that the bandstand that's recently removed from Botanic Gardens was to be installed there. That'll larn me to trust the ubiquitous Man In The Pub...

CyberScribe said...

Maybe they'll stick the scrap metal art on top of that bandstand ;-)

So the latest thing is to remove bandstands. I think I'll have to check if there's any left in Bangor, they had at least three.

Alan in Belfast said...

A toss up between upside-down wind chimes, a giant spoon and steel squiggles! Pity no one got through to the final three with a proposal for a bandstand ...

ellie said...

In all the years that the bandstand was there I only ever remember it being used by a school choir singing carols one Christmas, the rest of the time it was a meeting place for punks!

John Self said...

That's my recollection too, Ellie. It was also dirty and looked ugly, neatly matching the stranded-looking clock across the way from it.

CyberScribe, I don't believe the bandstand could represent determination through 30 years of troubles, as it was only put there in the early 1980s. There was a (much nicer) fountain there when I was a kid (late 70s).

As for wasting taxpayers' money, I tend to the view, like this businessman, that public art is a benefit to the community which outweighs the cost (£200,000 is chickenfeed even in NI terms: what's that, a couple of hundred rates bills?). It's well known, for example, that good art and design in hospitals speeds patient recovery. If you haven't visited Holywood Arches Health Centre recently, pop in and you'll see what I mean. Even if you're not sick, you'll come out feeling better than when you went in!

CyberScribe said...

Alan, something similar to a bandstand where people could perform or preach would add a bit of interest to the city centre.Something a bit like Speakers Corner in London.

Ellie, I remember freaky hippy type Christians who'd sing and speak from it.

John, I never knew there was a fountain there.I wasn't about Belfast very much in the 70's.
I'm sure some public art set in suitable surroundings may benefit the community . You mentioned the Holywood Arches Health Centre I understand that the architects for that centre's refurbishment won awards for their work.If an odd sculpture had been placed in the old building it would look out of place and have been a waste of money. I doubt if the frontage of all the buildings in the Arthur Square area are going to be renovated to suit the sculpture that is chosen, so I still think it's wasting money.