Derby's 'dystopian' Christmas decorations ridiculed

Christmas decorations in Derby 2019
Image caption This photo of the large presents has been described by one person as "the most Derby picture ever"

A display of four illuminated Christmas presents has been ridiculed online and described as an embarrassing waste of money.

Derby City Council spent £112,000 on the replacement for the ice skating rink it had in previous years.

People on social media described the new feature as a "disappointment", "ridiculous", and "dystopian".

The council said it was "disappointed" some people had chosen to judge the presents before they are fully working.

The Christmas presents, in Derby's Market Place, are due to be switched on on Friday.

They were created by the same company behind the Tunnel of Light in Norwich and displays in London's Harrods department store and Paris's Champs Élysées.

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Media captionNorwich's light tunnel was designed by the same company

People were quick to criticise the display. Liam Statham wrote: "I love the dystopian Christmas vibe", while George Hanton said it was the "most Derby picture ever. Love my city".

"So yet again I'll be spending more money visiting other cities for a Christmas experience rather than staying here. Well done Derby on another boring year," said Debra Warriner.

JJ Tait wrote: "Pointless and waste of money... all that space wasted on something pathetic... a lot of shoppers will be heading to Nottingham now."

Image copyright Derby City Council
Image caption Derby City Council said it wanted to do "something new" this year

There were some more forgiving comments - Deirdre Hind said: "I think they will look lovely, something different, sometimes you can't do right for doing wrong."

In response to the criticism the council said that the Christmas presents were still in the "installation phase" and so what people see currently is a "work site".

A spokespersons said: "We are obviously disappointed that some people have chosen to judge the presents before they are finished and working but we fully expect that the attraction will be a huge hit with children and families once they are switched on."

The presents, which cost about £80,000, with a further £32,000 to cover programming, removal and storage, are there to compliment what the city already has, the authority has said.

Once fully operational, they will do a "synchronised light and music show".

Ronnie Brown, managing director of Blachere Illumination, said it had combined technologies from its displays in Norwich and Bournemouth, both of which were "very well received".

"This feature is still in its installation phase and considered a work site," he said. "We are all very excited to see its progression from concept moving to commission."

Image copyright Derby City Council
Image caption The illuminated presents were made by the company behind the Tunnel of Light in Norwich

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