You may remember my recent post about public art in Athens. Well, the debate is not over. Because the idea of public art “in the jail” was so controversial, the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission has been left to prove the value of public art. Here is a link to a recent article by Ashley McCormack, a member of the cultural affairs commission. It’s terribly unfortunate that they are forced to justify themselves because of one controversial site, but it raises an interesting question. How do we justify public art? The strongest argument seems to be economic development, but some how that angle seems hollow to me. Is art only valuable if there is a practical application? Should the application of public art be driven by public opinion? I have never thought of art as a luxury, but for many it is just that. I believe public art is part of the soul of a city and the soul of a city is as important its body.
The debate continues