Say Goodbye 'Cause Sculpture By The Sea Is Leaving Bondi

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This year's Sculpture by the Sea exhibition at Sydney's Bondi is likely to be the last after a spectacular falling out between organisers and the local council over a new path to boost disabled access.

The founding director of the popular exhibitionDavid Handley, which brings in about 450,000 visitors each year, says the 279m long and 1.8m wide concrete path will interfere with the Spring event.

It's being constructed on the Marks Park ridge top, where many of the sculptures have prominent positions, on the coastal walk between Bondi and Tamarama, and although the path has a noble goal, organisers complain it cuts exhibition space by at least 10m.

“Waverley Council’s decision is devastating for Sculpture by the Sea and destroys Marks Park as a window to the world for the hundreds of thousands of people that come to see the artworks set against the iconic backdrop every spring,” Mr Handley said in a statement on Thursday.

Above: Viktor Freso 'Niemand' at the 2018 exhibition.

“We have informed council this is likely to be the last exhibition.

"It is too late to cancel for 2019, although nine sculptures will no longer be able to be exhibited and 12 will be greatly compromised.

"Marks Park will no longer offer the pristine backdrop suitable for a major international exhibition."

A study by BIS Oxford Economics estimates visitors to the event contribute more than $11 million in direct spending to the local economy while interstate and international visitors travelling specifically to visit the exhibition contribute $38.9 million to the NSW economy.

Mr Handley said the artists have already completed a lot of work "and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars" of their own money on the 2019 exhibition.

As well, organisers have spent more than eight months preparing for the event, using sponsor, donor and government funds, so it will go ahead, "but then it will probably be the end of Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi".

Waverley Council member Sally Betts told The Daily Telegraph councillors had been "misled" after council officers told them organisers were happy with the design of the new footpath.

Source: AAP

Image: AAP / Jessica Wyld/Sculpture by the Sea, Gareth Carr/Sculpture by the Sea / Cover Images

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