The decision to decommission and remove The Lighthouse sculpture, on the Bayshore Drive roundabout in Byron Bay, was made at a Council meeting on 22 August 2019.
The sculpture was decommissioned on 18 September 2019. As part of the decommissioning process, Council resolved to sell the undamaged birds that featured in the sculpture.
Council received expressions of interest from approximately 1500 people who wanted to buy birds. 3476 undamaged birds were successfully removed from the sculpture. All the birds were sold in December 2019, with almost 1200 people making purchases.
The total amount raised through the sale was approximately $64,000 (ex GST). After deducting expenses, Council resolved to divide the remaining funds from the sale evenly between the development of an arts and cultural policy and projects working to reduce homelessness.
Why was the Lighthouse sculpture decommissioned?
A staff report to the Council meeting outlined several incidents of people climbing the sculpture, attaching stuffed toys and flags and taking photographs in the centre of the roundabout over recent months.
The sculpture was not designed to be climbed and, because of the height and location of the artwork, there were real concerns about the potential for serious personal injury as well as the risk of compromising the structural integrity of the installation.