Art pillars call for public inventory

TWO pillars of the WA art scene have called on the McGowan government to create an inventory to track and preserve public art, but say there’s so far there’s been little appetite to take it on. 

Arts patron Janet Holmes a Court and East Fremantle sculptor Tony Jones noted a series of removals of iconic artwork in recent years, with the most recent being Perth council’s removal of the 50-year-old Ore Obelisk on St Georges Terrace due to deterioration. 

But arts minister David Templeman said a public art database would be complex.

“There is an expectation that asset owners, such as local government, maintain their own appropriate records,” Mr Templeman said.

Museum of Perth executive director Reece Harley, who was dismayed to see the Ore Obelisk removed, responded to the lack of government will to run an inventory. He said an independent not-for-profit like the MoP was well placed to step up. They have experience compiling detailed inventories of heritage buildings in East Freo, East Perth and Bunbury already, and have recently opened up a branch in Fremantle’s West End. 

by DAVID BELL

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