Confusion over demolition of ‘Dialogue avec l’histoire’ artwork

Confusion over demolition of ‘Dialogue avec l’histoire’ artwork

Quebec City (Quebec) 24 August 2015 – There seems to be some difference of opinion when it comes to the decision to have destroyed a controversial piece of art that was forever standing in the centre of Place Royale.

The sculpture called, “Dialogue with history” in English, was a gift from the city of Paris back in 1987, and was criticised over and over again by the local population for its apparent lack of imagination or even artistic inspiration.

This summer Mayor Labeaume took it upon himself to have the monument destroyed even though the Centre de Conservation du Quebec (CCQ) had suggested the piece be taken apart, stored and then rebuilt at a later date. At no point in their report did they suggest the sculpture be destroyed.

It was discovered the artwork needed some repairs and or a reconstruction, and a conservative price of $200,000 was calculated to complete the work.

In a letter written to the mayor of Paris in February of this year, Mayor Labeaume suggested that the city could rebuild a copy of the art created by the artist, Jean Pierre Raynaud in 2017.

He referred to the sculpture as a “magnificent gift” and said it was very much appreciated by the citizens and tourists alike. When questioned about the letter which was discovered through the access to public documents by Le Devoir newspaper, M. Labeaume simply stated that he was perhaps a bit too dramatic in his diplomacy towards the artwork in question.

M. Labeaume defends his decision by saying the cost of rebuilding the structure would have been too high and he wanted to save the taxpayers some money.

The question remains; do you simply destroy a work of art which was originally a gift, or do you respect its value and repair or reconstruct it no matter what the cost? The artist, who had created the sculpture, was extremely upset to see his work of art demolished back in June of this year.

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