Hirst pregnant woman statue loan for Ilfracombe accepted

Verity statue The statue has been described as a "modern allegory of truth and justice"

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Plans to put up a 20m (67ft) high statue of a naked pregnant woman by artist Damien Hirst in a seaside town have passed their final hurdle.

The artist has offered the statue, called Verity, to Ilfracombe in north Devon on a 20-year loan.

North Devon's Council's executive has decided to accept the loan.

Groundwork is expected to start on the planned site at the town's harbour later this month. The sculpture itself is expected in October.

'Modern truth allegory'

Plans for the statue were submitted in June, attracting 177 letters in support and 100 letters of objection.

Objectors' concerns ranged from security issues - with fears that it would attract vandalism and publicity seekers - to expressions of dislike of the artist's work.

The application said the bronze-clad statue of the woman, carrying a sword, as well as scales with a base of legal books, was a "modern allegory of truth and justice".

Ilfracombe Town Council had already given its approval, with councillors saying they hoped the sculpture would attract more tourism to the town.

The town has embraced modern art since its Landmark Theatre was developed in 2007, employing a white, conical design which was later dubbed Madonna's Bra.

After the Hirst sculpture at the beginning of October, it is expected it will be erected about October 18, before it is officially unveiled towards the end of the month.

Mr Hirst, who has a restaurant in the town, has been unavailable for comment.

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