Nuisance caller: can I cash in on your statue?
Monday 15 April 1996
"I was thinking of sponsoring it."
"Marvellous. There's been rather a lot of negativity about it over the last few days. What would you be able to offer?"
"I don't have a huge amount. It's more a gesture of support and a few ideas."
"I have a few climber friends who want to scale it. Would you consider it?"
"I think that'll happen anyway. I'm not sure the council would be keen to encourage it. Already I can see messages being grafittied along the wings."
"Yes, it's going to attract a lot of visitors. I wanted to propose a visitor centre."
"Well there is going to be a car-park, which I hope would be some distance away from the work, so people could walk towards it, which is both more fun and contemplative. I hope there won't be buildings and kiosks and postcards and all that."
"That's a shame because that's just what I wanted to suggest."
"Well, I am but a humble servant of the representatives of the people of Gateshead. If they, in their wisdom, decide that they want to have a row of souvenir shops, I imagine that what I have to say is not going to be particularly taken into account. I'd like it to be like a tree in a field."
"So you wouldn't consider craning people to a small cafe on the top of it?"
"I've been told that Jean Michel-Jarre is interested in putting on a laser and sound spectacle to open it. Are you interested?"
"Fantastic. Heartwarming. I'd like to think about it. Could I have your name and number?"
"There was just one other thing I just wanted to check. I gather the community in Merseyside helped to make your last project, all those little munchkins in one room. Could something similar be done using Romanian orphans? They could be brought over to help construct it, perhaps."
"There is a European version of Field which was shown in Bucharest. I'm keen on collaboration but I'm not sure I'd want to do something in Romania so soon."
"What about bungee jumping?"
"Like a row of corks off an Aussie hat? OK, well thanks for the call. I'll get back to you."
"I wanted to hang a big Union Jack off it."
"Like superman's cloak? I would resist that. I'm afraid I've got to go."
"Any chance that you could send me a few of those munchkin things?"
"They're not mine any more. They belong to the Arts Council collection."
"So, not even a munchkin, then?"
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