A Melbourne council has splashed $85,000 on a sculpture of oranges, outraging ratepayers and community groups.
Bayside Council has installed the sculpture of five orange halves by artist Carla Gottgens at Peterson Reserve in the southeast suburb of Highett.
It comes after another Melbourne council, inner city Yarra Council, splurged $22,000 on a 183cm tall banana sculpture last year. It was later removed after a vandal tried to decapitate it with a hacksaw.
The banana installation made headlines around the world, with US late-night talk show host John Oliver offering to buy it.
Bayside council allocates $100,000 each year to commissioning public artwork. Bayside Mayor Alex del Porto, who unveiled the sculpture last week, said it brought
“vibrancy and interactivity” to public spaces and fostered “wellbeing and inclusion”.
The artist, Ms Gottgens, said her oranges sculpture, called Half Time, was a tribute to families who participated in community sport.