City declines statue of the Queen

Artist's offer doesn't fit the city's newly adopted Art in Public Places policy

Victoria may have a reputation for being British at its core, but there’s little appetite for a statue of the Queen.

Sculptor Armando Barbon offered the piece to the city as a gift to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

Barbon keeps a studio on Cloverdale Avenue. His statues can be seen at several Greater Victoria locations: A town crier welcomes visitors to Ogden Point, soccer players grapple for the ball at Royal Athletic Park, and an athlete graces Camosun College’s Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence.

His latest offer, however, didn’t fit the city’s newly adopted Art in Public Places policy.

The city has few prime sites remaining for significant art pieces, explained Jon Tupper, chair of the art in public places advisory committee. Further, a full competitive process for the procurement of public art should be employed for prime sites, he wrote in his report to council.

Lastly, acceptance of this work would be a de facto commission since it has not yet been produced and would require city resources to install and maintain.

On Oct. 20, city council approved the recommendation to decline the statue.

The statue could still find a home on other property, such as that owned by the Provincial Capital Commission or other private land.