Damien Hirst's Plan To Put 65 Foot Statue Of Naked Pregnant Woman In Devon Town

Hirst's 65 Foot Naked Pregnant Woman One Step Closer To Decorating Devon Coast

Damien Hirst's plan to decorate a small seaside town with a 65ft-high statue of a naked pregnant woman has gone one step closer to becoming a reality.

Councillors from North Devon District Council have agreed that the bronze statue called Verity could be positioned on Ilfracombe pier.

Local opinion on the statue, which has been offered on a 20-year loan by the artist, has been deeply divided and the decision to award planning permission follows two months of public discussion.

An artist's impression of what Hirst's sculpture might look like in its new home

It is thought the sculpture could attract significant tourism to the town, which has embraced modern art since the town's theatre was developed with a white, conical design and dubbed Madonna's Bra in 2007.

The council's executive will now meet to decide whether to officially accept the loan of the artwork.

From the base of the plinth to the top of the sword, Verity would be slightly taller than Gateshead's famous Angel of the North.

Hirst - one of the world's most talked-about artists - also has a restaurant in the town.

Ilfracombe Town Council gave its approval but planning permission was needed from North Devon District Council's planning committee which received around 300 letters about the planning application - with roughly 177 in support and 100 letters in objection.

Concerns ranged from security issues - with fears that Verity will attract vandalism and publicity seekers - to a dislike of the artist's work but council members heard the statue brings the possibility of attracting further investment for the town and local economy.

If given the go-ahead by the council's executive meeting, groundwork is planned to start on site later this month, with the sculpture due to arrive at the beginning of October.

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