Bear statue in turf battle with proposed Stanley Cup monument
The widow of a sculptor whose statue of a bear devouring a fish has been on Sparks Street in Ottawa for more than two decades is upset at plans to move the piece to make way for a monument commemorating the donation of the Stanley Cup.
Bruce Garner's bronze statue, called "Territorial Prerogative", was commissioned and donated in 1990 to the Sparks Street Mall, who placed it near the intersection of Elgin Street.
On Monday, non-profit Lord Stanley Memorial Monument Incorporated announced it reached an agreement with the city to build a landmark on the site to commemorate the donation of the Stanley Cup in 1892.
The group plans to launch a design contest for the monument and begin fundraising, with an eye to unveiling the new monument in 2017.
Both the city and Sparks Street Mall have given approval for the location.
Statue to be moved elsewhere on Sparks Street
Garner died in October last year. His widow, Tamaya, said she is unhappy about the plan.
"I thought 'No, I don't want his sculpture moved,'" said Garner, who is concerned it may be damaged.
"For heaven's sake, the man has only been dead for five months and then kafoof! I mean, I see it as a way of 'Here we go, let's push that one out of the way.'"
Garner said she is not against the new monument, but said she is upset she learned about the plan after it was reported in the media. She plans to start a petition to block the move.
The Sparks Street Mall Authority said Territorial Prerogative will be moved just farther down the outdoor mall, where it will be part of a new display called Artist Alley. There are also plans to reunite the mother bear depicted in the sculpture with its cub, which was broken off the statue a few years ago.
Cube Gallery owner Don Monet believes the sculpture should stay where it is, and said moving a statue is no small task.
"If you're going to move that bear, it's going to be delicate and expensive, so you better be careful," said Monet.