Toy dog on pole suggested as Cambridge public art

Image source, Richard Taylor
Image caption,
The work by an unknown "artist" has been dubbed "the ascent of dog"

A sculpture featuring an old tyre and a soft toy dog tied to a pole should spark a debate over public art funding, a political blogger has said.

Richard Taylor said the creation alongside the River Cam in Cambridge was likely to be more "striking" than anything the city council funded.

The authority has £450,000 of ring-fenced money for public art projects.

"I hope this might prompt a debate about what we do with the public art money," said Mr Taylor, from Cambridge.

"Does it need to be as expensive as £450,000?

"I can't imagine we're going to get anything as striking as a stuffed dog on a pole."

As the Cambridge News reported, the council plans to allocate £120,000 of its £450,000 funds to an artist dedicated to working with people who live on or near the river.

The public art money comes from Section 106 funding from developers and is ring-fenced for community projects.

It is not known who placed the pole dancing dog by the river but it grabbed Mr Taylor's attention.

The curious creation has been dubbed "the ascent of dog" by one Twitter respondent, in a nod to naturalist Charles Darwin's book The Descent of Man.

Darwin studied at Cambridge, where a college is named after his family.

The council told the BBC the S106 money was "negotiated specifically for public art and cannot be used for anything else".

Allocating some to an artist working in the river "environs" was "about ensuring that the resulting public art work has engaged local people and that it has meaning for them", a spokesman said.

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