Questionmark over who will foot sculpture repair bill

Fife Council is taking legal advice to determine who is responsible for the controversial sculpture.
Fife Council is taking legal advice to determine who is responsible for the controversial sculpture.

A row is brewing over who is legally responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the controversial sculpture which is falling to pieces on Kirkcaldy esplanade.

The Press revealed last week that the public art work, entitled ‘Phantom’ created by world renowned artist David Mach, is rapidly decaying, just three years after it was installed.

Artist David Mach with his sculpture ' Phantom'.

Artist David Mach with his sculpture ' Phantom'.

Following public concerns and a number of pieces falling off the sculpture, Fife Council last week fenced off the art work and declared an ‘exclusion zone’ around the immediate area.

But it remains unclear as to just who is responsible for it.

Morrisons, which commissioned the sculpture at a cost of £35,000 as part of its planning consent when the new supermarket was built, has refused to comment on the problem until it is confirmed who is liable.

Meanwhile, council officers have not ruled out pulling the artwork down if it poses any further risk to the public.

Commenting on the current stalemate, Scott Young, building standards compliance and public safety lead officer for the Fife authority, confirmed that discussions are continuing on the issue.

He added: “We are taking legal advice and trying to establish who is responsible for the maintenance of the structure.”

Meanwhile, internationally-recognised Fife-based artist David Mach, who created the sculpture from a 30 foot long trunk of driftwood with an estimated million nails hammered into it, has remained tight-lipped about the issue.

The three-tonne structure, which and has been referred to as looking like a “whale’s penis” by Kirkcaldy councillor Neil Crooks, remains fenced off this week as nails and bits of rotting wood continue to fall away from it.