Protecting public art from vandals

Protecting public art from vandals
Reclining figure, a sculpture by artist Henry Moore located outside OCBC Centre

Should a work of art worth big bucks be protected, even ringfenced?

Or should the public have free access to it, risking damage?

The Kinetic Rain display at Changi Airport Terminal 1 is a case in point.

Changi Airport Group (CAG) previously declined to say how much it is worth, except that it was part of the $500 million price tag for Terminal 1's overhaul.

On Saturday, a visitor climbed onto its one-storey-high metal safety netting and picked off the sculpture's metallic raindrops.

It is back in working order, but CAG would not say how much it had to pay to repair the damage.

The group said it did protect the display with glass railings 1.1m high which surround the sculpture. A gap between the railing and safety net deters access onto the safety net, its spokesman said.

Like Kinetic Rain, some other public displays have been damaged recently.

Should access be limited, perhaps Protecting public art with a barrier so it's clear that it's "See, no touch"?

No, said CAG. There are other displays there, including Flora Inspiration by Han Sai Por, Vessel by Iskandar Jalil, Saga Seed by Kumari Nahappan, and Coming Home by Han Mei Lin.

"We strike a balance between giving airport visitors a good viewing experience, and strongly fortifying the artwork from mischief and theft," a spokesman said.

As for other displays out in public, who should protect them?

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