Statue appeal exceeds target

PUBLIC ART:

A public campaign raising funds for the construction of a statue of former AFL star and media personality Sam Newman has been overwhelmed by donations, according to organisers.

The online campaign using a popular fundraising website was kicked off last week with a target of $80,000 to commission a sculptor to create a bronze statue of Newman (artist’s impression above) to be erected in Melbourne’s Federation Square.

“When we started the campaign we thought we might struggle to get enough funds, but we’ve been shocked by the public response,” one of the fund’s organisers, Ali Baster, said.

“Instead of $80,000 we are now well on the way to $3 million and donations are still pouring in.

“We have chosen Melbourne sculptor Clay Molde to create the life-size statue which we believe captures the essence of Mr Newman.

“Now that we have the funds we can have Clay start work with the aim of having the statue completed and in place probably next month.

“As we explain to donors on our fundraising website, we are planning two public ceremonies. The first will be the dedication and unveiling of the Sam Newman statue, and anyone who’s donated will be invited to that.

“Then probably an hour or so after that we plan to have the public destruction of the statue which will involve vandalising it with anti-racist graffiti, disfiguring it with hammers or the like, and finally throwing a rope around it, tearing it off its plinth and carrying it to the nearby Yarra River and throwing it in.

“For that part of the event we’ll have to limit the number of people involved so we’ll draw names from a hat to see who can take part. It should be a great day, not just for Melbourne but for Australia.

“We’ve invited Sam to attend but haven’t heard back from him,” Ms Baster said.