It’s not often that I am moved to write letters of complaint. A crap holiday cottage in Scotland and aggressively rude service in a Nottingham bar spring to mind, but that’s about it. Until today that is, when an article on the BBC news site sufficiently inflamed my ire.
Under the heading “Sky Mirror unveiled in Manhattan“, some anonymous hand at the BBC saw fit to say the following about Anish Kapoor’s sculpture:
“Kapoor said there were some “good conversations in progress” as to where it would be appearing next.”
“It has previously been placed in Nottingham, where it caused concern over whether it could set people or birds alight.”
Now, as I explained at some length yesterday (in the post directly below this one), the New York mirror is nought but a cheap knock-off of our own fine (and extremely expensive) original, still standing proud and tall outside Nottingham Playhouse. So what got my goat about the BBC article was the implication that the New York mirror was somehow the Sky Mirror. It’s not. It’s a Sky Mirror. There is a big difference.
So busy was I, working myself up into a froth of righteous outrage over this attempt to air-brush the Nottingham mirror out of history, that I clean forgot to get equally outraged over the second inaccurate assertion. I mean, honestly. We might be provincial, but we’re not totally thick. Spontaneous combustion of innocent passers-by was never one of our fears.
True, there was an issue surrounding pigeons – but the “danger zone”, as laboriously calculated and triangulated by the astronomical experts, was way above the heads of even our tallest citizens. A simple protective screen, mounted on the roof of the theatre, was all it took for danger to be averted.
Off went my e-mail. Less than a couple of hours later, I checked the BBC article again. Lo and behold! The text had been altered to read as follows:
“[Kapoor] has created a number of Sky Mirrors, the first of which was unveiled in Nottingham.”
Much more like it, I purred to myself, in satisfaction with an act of public service successfully executed.
However, the outrages were not yet over. I’ve been wondering why Anish Kapoor chose to replicate his Nottingham sculpture, six years after the fact – and in this article from the New York Times (hidden behind a registration wall, so good luck), maybe I’ve found my answer:
“…as Mr. Kapoor puts it, “I don’t think I’m done with it yet,” he decided to revisit the Nottingham “Sky Mirror” in more monumental form in New York.
“Who ever goes to Nottingham?” he added mischievously, when asked whether he worried about repeating himself. “Who’s ever seen it?”
Well, Mister La-Di-Dah Famous Artist, I’m only sorry that we weren’t good enough for you. Off you jolly well trot, then. I’m sure they’ll all love you in New York – but never forget the Little People who helped put you where you are today, eh?
We didn’t pay for a mere prototype, you know. We thought we were getting something unique for our £900,000. Ah well, that’s show business.
I’m not sure whether my home city can take many more of these indignities.