The Rising Tide is a series of sculptures by British Artist Jason deCaires Taylor, which were originally placed in the River Thames, close to The Houses of Parliament, as part of an environmental exhibition.

While working on the Museo Atlantico project here in Lanzarote, Taylor agreed to loan the sculptures to the island, for a period of ten years, with no costs, other than getting them here and installing them. They duly arrived three years ago, and were beautifully placed in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art at Castillo San José in Arrecife.

Since then, the horses have enchanted locals and visitors, not least those arriving on cruise ships into the port – they look doubly impressive from the ocean. According to the tide, and the position of the sun, they can look completely different from one day to the next. A truly impressive piece of dynamic, modern art.

So why is the new government of The Cabildo planning to remove them?

Their messages are very confused. The Cabildo said the sculptures “damage the image of César Manrique,” suggesting that sitting in front of the museum created by Manrique, somehow detract from his own work. That conveniently ignores the fact that the castle dates from the 16th Century, that the museum is about “contemporary art,” not just “Manrique art,” and almost seems to suggest that art on the island should have “stopped” on the day we lost him.

It’s clearly a nonsense, and many suspect the motive is political –  a new government trying to undo the work of the previous administration, perhaps? Whatever the reason, we think it would be a tragedy, bordering on farce, to lose the sculptures. Let’s all enjoy them for the remaining seven years of the free loan, and then make any necessary decisions about their future.

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