Students nab Sea Point sculpture

2011-10-18 10:56
Yaël Malgas
Cape Town – One has suffered a broken foot, the other was pushed over and one disappeared completely.

It would appear that the sculpture series of "The girl who wants to fly like a dragonfly" has had a difficult time on the Sea Point Promenade.

"I don't know whether I want to exhibit my work here for the next two years," said the artist Marieke Prinsloo-Rowe, after her work has been the target of vandals on numerous occasions.

The latest incident saw students from the University of Cape Town (UCT) stealing one of Prinsloo's sculptures.

The sculpture, the first in the series, "moved" to the lawns of a UCT men's residence two weeks ago.

"It must have taken quite a few of them to wiggle the sculpture off her pedestal," Prinsloo said.

Big red bow

Prinsloo-Rowe later received an anonymous message that informed her of the sculpture's whereabouts. She then went there in person.

"They took the sculpture without breaking her – which I saw as a sort of compliment. Look, it's one thing when when people break the sculptures, but quite another when they display it on their lawn."

She then donated the sculpture's pedestal to the men's hostel, complete with a big red bow. "If they want to exhibit my art, they have to do it properly."


According to JP Smith, Cape Town's Mayoral Committee member for Safety and Security, the artist alone is responsible for the maintenance of public artworks.

"Prinsloo-Rowe's work is viewed as a donation. The city council have nothing to do with the maintenance of the artworks."

Smith studied closed circuit television footage from areas around the promenade in the hope of identifying the vandals, but it has not delivered any results.


  • lydonmcg - 2011-10-18 11:31

    They need to stick cameras on the promenade itself.

  • sadiemy - 2011-10-18 11:40

    I wish someone would remove/trash those hideous lumps all over Kirstenbosch Gardens which completely spoilt my last visit there last year. Can we not get away from man boasting his dubious schievements anywhere? One goes to Kirstenbosch to relax and just enjoy an unhindered beauty of nature, not to be told what to think and have one's view spoiled.

  • Mark - 2011-10-18 12:39

    Marieke has made a very generous gesture by providing the statues. Having accepted the gesture, the absolute least that the City Council can do is to provide suitable security for the statues. Colaboration between artists and the council in the form of public art enriches our lives and needs to be encouraged.

  • Lenore - 2011-10-18 13:19

    Um, wow. A donation implies that something has been GIVEN to the recipient. Thereby rendering it THEIR property - erego, the artwork was donated to the council, it is therefore their property and their responsibility to maintain it. And this why buildings and roads and parks are a shambles - nobody wants to take responsibility. It's just easier to sit back and collect a salary for doing nothing, you see.

  • Preshen - 2011-10-18 16:08

    bring back the old days were student should just get wasted

  • Zahn - 2011-10-20 21:09

    We saw them in Cape Town 2 weeks ago - gorgeous, don't know why people can't keep their hands to themselves!

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