Liverpool gets it right – La Princesse farewell

 September 9, 2008         2 Comments

La Princesse in front of Wellington’s Column

Looking back over the weekend and the visit of La Princesse to the streets of Liverpool, it’s hard not to be impressed at how well everything went.

For a city that’s taken a fair bit of flack of its Capital of Culture celebrations and an under-fire council derided as the worst in the country, La Machine’s giant mechanical spider brought some welcome relief, and as a major source of traffic chaos was a lot more welcome than the Big Dig.

The more cynical among friends of mine were blown away by the spectacle when they got round to seeing La Princess in the, er, flesh and several friends confessed to being rather moved by their sight of the big beast.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t consider the mooted price tag of £1.6m to be anything to get remotely worked up about – the council and culture company have wasted far larger sums on far less successful projects and the PR generated must far outweigh that measly sum.

For a long weekend everyone stopped thinking about the evil cabal, Warren Bradley, Everton and groundshares, the fourth grace, that report on the council, Pete Price, Harry Enfield, thieving scousers and everything else that tarnishes the city.

Liverpool was making new around the world, and not for some tawdry Beatles Day nonsense.

There was a glorious mechanical giant fucking spider walking around the city amid fire, hoses, fights with diggers and a huge firework display – backed by a superb group of musicians.

Liverpool World Museum, La Princesse

It cut through class, religion, race, background, attitudes, interests. It moved children to squeals of delight and adults to tears. It was superbly accessible public art.

I watched on Sunday night quietly rapt as La Princesse disappeared into the tunnel, alongside thousands of others. I wished it could have gone on all week.

Well done to La Machine, Artichoke, the council and the Culture Company. For once, everyone got it right.

My last set of La Princesse photos are on Flickr. Do leave a comment or I won’t feel validated.

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