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No viable location in Waterloo Region for 42 foot sculpture: committee

'Mirrors of Babel' is still looking for a home within Waterloo Region

A 42-foot tall sculpture is looking for a new home and its owner is hoping to display it within Waterloo Region.

The larger-than-life sculpture, Mirrors of Babel, was originally commissioned for Nuit Blanche, then it was purchased by local entrepreneur Ron Doyle and displayed at LOT42 since 2019.

Now, Doyle is hoping to donate the sculpture to the region -- but there may not be an indoor public space large enough for the sculpture, which is 42 feet tall.

Betty Anne Keller, Chair of the Public Art Advisory Committee, says the piece has been designed to be suspended from the ceiling and cannot be displayed freestanding or outdoors.

"In fact, when it was installed in Toronto.. they had to build makeshift scaffolding inside so that it would be stable enough to be on the ground for the duration of Nuit Blanche. I think it detracted from it, but one could see the beauty of it even with that."

She said it's unfortunate that they couldn't find a home for the sculpture in Waterloo Region.

"The private sector has a big role to play in making our community dynamic and interesting. Ron Doyle is a great example of a businessman who really gets it and understands the arts, and that creative industries have a big role to play in the success of our region."

Keller said choosing not to accept the sculpture was a hard decision to make for the committee.

"The expression behind it, to celebrate multiculturalism, is another very important aspect.. of the kinds of stories we want to tell about Waterloo Region. At the end of the day, council will decide whether or not to accept the donation, but that's the advice of our committee."

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