Giant spider sculpture under Vancouver bridge to remain in place for now

Apr 12 2023, 12:30 am

The giant spider sculpture under the Victoria Drive bridge over the Grandview Cut in East Vancouver is getting a reprieve.

The head-turning sculpture made from recycled materials was first noticed in the middle of March — visible from Broadway near its intersection with Victoria Drive, and clearly seen by passengers on SkyTrain Millennium Line. This location is about one block east of Commercial-Broadway Station.

Within days, the City of Vancouver said it had begun the process of determining the best way to remove the sculpture, with minimal impacts to the operation of SkyTrain and the freight railway in the Grandview Cut. At the time, the municipal government suggested the sculpture presented a safety issue and its installation was unsanctioned.

But there was an immediate outcry from both the public and the artist to City staff’s intent to remove the sculpture.

Nearly a month after the sculpture was installed, the City has indicated it will allow the public art piece to remain in place on a temporary basis.

Giant spider sculpture Vancouver

“Phobia” by Junko (Daniel Chai/Daily Hive)

Vancouver city councillor Peter Meiszner tweeted this afternoon that City staff have determined it is safe and possible to leave the spider in place for up to six months. This is subject to reaching an agreement with the artist.

This agreement would clarify timelines and responsibilities for maintenance and eventual removal. The City has been working with its partners to discuss the best path forward for the installation and City staff are reaching out to the artist to discuss the option,” stated Meiszner, who previously said he asked the City manager to explore the possibility of finding a new permanent home for the sculpture to address City staff’s concerns.

Phobia, the name of the sculpture, was designed and installed by Montreal-based artist Junko, who is known for his works using recycled materials, including the recently installed sculptures at Bentall Centre on the Burrard Street side.

Junko previously told Daily Hive Urbanized he is opposed to a relocation, as the sculpture was specifically designed for this particular location.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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