Letter: ‘Angel would be welcome addition to city

Editor,

I write in support of the “Angel of Creativity,” the sculpture the city has been offered.

I find it to be an extremely attractive piece and believe that it would be a important addition to the city’s growing collection of public art.

The fact that it is offered at minimal cost makes it even more attractive, particularly in these straitened times.

I understand that there is some opposition, and these voices should of course be heard. But I believe there are a number of factors which mitigate against giving them too much credence.

Frankly, I think that many of our neighbors are inherently conservative and are suspicious of and resistant to change of any sort. But they are not alone.

I remember reading about the howls of indignation as Gustave Eiffel built his tower in Paris, or when the Riesenrat was constructed in Vienna in the 1890s.

The 20th century, of course, presents us with many further examples of this phenomenon, including Mussolini’s fascist architecture in Rome and elsewhere which is, essentially, a version of art deco, I.M Pei’s pyramid at the Louvre, or the Gherkin and the Shard in London. All of these structures were at one point vilified but have long since become emblematic of the spaces they grace.

They enrich their cities, intriguing and enchanting both natives and visitors.

I understand that one of the other objections to the “Angel of Creativity” is that the work does not conform to Oak Harbor’s Dutch cultural identity.

There is clearly value in cultural heritage, and if someone offers us a windmill, I think we should take it.

But I don’t think these considerations should preclude the acquisition of pieces that don’t fit into a restrictive cultural model. One of my favorite small European capitals is Oslo, because of its remarkable and extensive assortment of public art.

The collection is quite eclectic, without a Viking longboat in sight.

Oslo’s abundance of public art is a major draw for tourists, and Oslo’s model has now been emulated by many other communities.

I would spend much more time in Oslo except for the fact that a cheeseburger costs about $50.

In any case, I commend Oak Harbor on the public art it has, and certainly hope that the mayor and council see fit to enhance the collection by the addition of the Angel of Creativity.

Dr. Bernd J. Fischer

Oak Harbor

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