Update 25th November 2019
The horses have been removed and put into storage, despite the efforts of a small group of protesters who worked hard to make the removal difficult.
Our view is that this is a real shame for Lanzarote and to have paid over €25,000 to remove them is a huge waste of public money. The island has lost a beautiful and thought provoking piece of art.
The artist himself, Jason deCaires Taylor put it very well:
Very sad to see The Rising Tide horses censored and removed. I hope that the new government #PSOE and #LoliCorujo have felt like the artistic purge was worthwhile. I certainly think they should remove the word International from #MIAC– Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo. Visitors can now have a completely clear view of the industrial port and mega cruise ships, without being reminded of need for climate action!
The last few days has made me reflect on how I want my artistic estate to managed after I have gone. I have decided to donate future revenue to #Greenpeace in order that it be used for positive environmental purposes and my artworks not exploited for political or commercial gains.
I just want to thank again all the brave #Lanzarote residents who stood against this terrible act, it was incredibly inspiring. I hope you (and the dive centres of #Lanzarote) are able to continue to fight in order to protect #MuseoAtlantico from the same fate.
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 offered The Rising Tide to Lanzarote, with the option to have the horses on loan for a period of ten years, in return for a single payment of €15,000 to cover the material costs, or to buy them outright for the sum of €200,000. The Cabildo chose the former and paid for their transport and installation.
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 stunning 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 detracts 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.
The job to remove them has gone out to tender, and has been accepted at a cost of around €26,000.
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, with the added sting that it’s going to cost a decent year’s salary to actually get them out of the water. Let’s all enjoy them for the remaining seven years of the loan, and then make any necessary decisions about their future.
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