Monday, May 14, 2018

Not a Funny Photo

Since I'm always on the looking for Friday Funnies photo posts, my first thought on seeing this statue with pigeons on the statues heads was something like new head gear — pigeon caps ?
But, this is not a funny photo and I'm thankful that I took the time to learn more about its significance. After taking the photo on our recent Boston visit, I realized that I hadn't taken the time to learn anything out about the statue. It's simply amazing what can be found online and so I searched for Boston statue. Yes, I'm addicted to online searches.

The statue above is one of two statues that comprise the Boston Irish Famine Memorial. The sculptures were done by Robert Shure, a graduate of the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts. His work has been featured in several Boston museums and galleries. The two works are in a memorial park on a plaza along the Freedom Trail in Boston, MA. 

The one below depicts a ragged and starving Irish family suffering during the Great Famine of 1845-1852. This statue is in sharp contrast to the one above that depicts a family that had emigrated to America representing hope for the future.
The statues and memorial park were funded by a trust led by Boston businessman and philanthropist Thomas Flatley. The park opened in 1998 to mark 150 years since the height of the Great Famine
Internet source: Robert Shure website

Since then, it's has been labelled as "the most mocked and reviled public sculpture in Boston" by the art critic of The Boston GlobeMaintenance was cut back after Flatley's 2008 death. The Downtown Boston Business Improvement District and a nearby business help to clean the park area. Still, the site has been described in as a "magnet for vagrants and pigeons."

Sadly, as shown, those pigeons are a frequent sight atop the statues. They are fed by compulsive pigeon feeders who frequent the park during daylight hours. Until such feeding is discouraged and prohibited, it's impossible to keep the birds from landing on and fouling the statues. Panhandling also has been cited as a deterrent to keep visitors from stopping in the park.

Given the park’s position along the Freedom Trail, the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District is working to clean it up. The group sees the park as a welcoming and space and plans to add an information kiosk on the plaza.

Maybe changes will be made because the sculptures deserve better.


Sandra said...

they are beautiful statues, true art and a sad story, but perfect to remind of a bad time in history... darn pigeons, but they do make cute hats

Christina said...

Don't you love the internet for all its information? Thanks for sharing these statues. I have visited Boston several time and never noticed them. They are rather beautiful testimonies of a terrible period in history.

mamasmercantile said...

A joy to visit and learn something new. What would we do without google?

possum said...

Interesting. I have been to Boston many times, but never noticed them - or maybe just was not in that area.
But pigeons will sit wherever they want - I am reminded of San Marco's square where tourists can disappear under a flock of pigeons.

possum said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lois Evensen said...

Very interesting history.

DUTA said...

I'm also addicted to online searches.
The two contrasting statues of Hope and Famine are important for the future generation to see. Hope can easily turn into Despair for several reasons, Famine being one of them.

Connie said...

It's interesting to learn the history behind the statues. I hope they can find a way to clean the area up.

Valerie said...

I found this really interesting and not dissimilar to situations in my hometown. The pigeons are a pain and the mess they make is awful. It takes many men to clean the mess from some of our valuable statues.

Anvilcloud said...

We once owned a house that the pigeons loved. Ah ... memories. :)

baili said...

either i love to search online about stuff which provokes my curiosity !
thank you for the beautiful sharing
marvelous statues!!!

awesomely made .
i hope that authorities will find the solution to problems caused by bird visits

William Kendall said...

I think the statues do deserve better.

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