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Hirst's controversial Verity takes shape in resort town

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 09, 2012

Damien Hirst's bronze statue of a pregnant woman – Verity – arrives at the quayside in Ilfracombe, Devon Picture: GUY HARROP

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A giant statue by renowned artist Damien Hirst of a pregnant woman wielding a sword has arrived in its new home of Ilfracombe in North Devon.

The 65ft statue, which was granted planning permission last month, has been loaned by the often controversial artist to the town for 20 years.

It arrived in Ilfracombe yesterday where contractors will spend a further week working on the sculpture before it is completed.

Named Verity, the statue will be erected on the harbourside. It depicts a pregnant, naked woman holding aloft a sword, bearing the scales of justice and will stand on a plinth of law books.

On one side the belly is exposed to reveal, muscle, tissue and bone and the foetus growing inside. It is described as a "modern allegory of truth and justice".

Verity's frame was fabricated in a single piece of stainless steel and the bronze parts were cast in more than 40 pieces, which were then reassembled around the frame.

The sword and upper arm of the statue is made from a single piece of glass-fibre reinforced polymer.

Wind tunnel testing has been carried out to ensure Verity will be able to withstand high winds and sea spray.

The finished product is expected to be completed ready for her to be lifted into place between October 14-17, weather depending.

Sections of the pier car park were closed yesterday from just after midnight until 8am and similar arrangements will be in place from midnight until 8am on Sunday.

Some car parking spaces will remain unavailable until installation work is complete.

Councillor Mike Edmunds, executive member for strategic planning and development at Ilfracombe, said: "Even though the car park will reopen on Sunday morning, there will be some parking spaces that remain cordoned off.

"However, this will only be temporary while work on Verity continues and there will still be plenty of other spaces available at the pier car park."

Hirst who has a home near Ilfracombe, also has a workshop and a restaurant in the resort.

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