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Model of Spirit of Bristol Sculpture for Auction at Bonhams

A stainless steel 57cm high model of Paul Mount’s iconic Spirit of Bristol sculpture is to be sold at Bonhams as part of its Vision 21 sale on 16 March 2011, and has attracted a pre-sale estimate of £2,000 – £3,000.

Cornwall-based artist, Paul Mount, who died in 2009 at the age of 86, was asked by the Bristol City Council to create the Spirit of Bristol sculpture at the end of the 1960s. It has been situated in a public space next to the Haymarket in Bristol since 1971.

Intended to represent the city’s trading past, it was one of the few modern art works to be commissioned in the conservative Bristol of the 1960s and 70s. The five-metre high piece was greeted with a mixed response – some thought it ugly and inappropriate, while others thought it symbolic and avant-garde with its sail-shaped wings.

In 2009, two Bristol art enthusiasts, John Huggins, vice-president of the Royal West of England Academy, and Richard Wyatt, morning presenter on BBC Radio Bristol, called for the Spirit of Bristol to be better looked after following years of vandalism and decay.

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