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Damien Hirst's ‘Verity’ has been hoisted onto and unveiled on Illfracombe Pier

Date uploaded: October 24, 2012

Damien Hirst's giant artwork ‘Verity’ is hoisted onto and unveiled on Illfracombe Pier

A statue of a pregnant woman, by artist Damien Hirst, has been officially unveiled in the north Devon town of Ilfracombe. The culmination of over two years in planning and production, on 17th October 2012, Verity was lifted into position by crane. The 65ft (20metre) statue has been given to the town by Hirst on a 20-year loan.

The sculpture was brought to Illfracombe from Pangolin Editions foundry in Gloucestershire and was on site for over a week before being erected. In this time, she underwent extensive metalworking, which included fitting her bronze clad carbon fibre sword to her arm before being patinated.

A pile of bronze legal books – traditionally associated with figures representing Justice – provide the base on which she stands.

Ilfracombe mayor Lynda Courtnadge said: "There was initial curiosity and now there is history in the making. It was a unique opportunity to see a statue put in place by the most successful living artist. We are very fortunate and very appreciative of the loan of the statue by Damien Hirst, we are very grateful."

Hirst, who owns a restaurant in Ilfracombe and lives in north Devon, described Verity as "a modern-day allegory for truth and justice". The figure's stance is modelled on Edgar Degas' Little Dancer of Fourteen Years.

The statue has divided opinion. But the mayor declared: "I think eventually people will be won over. Having seen it today, it wasn't quite as 'horrific' as they expected. There were hundreds of people here today and the vast majority were in favour of it."

Click here for more information on the sculpture on Damien Hirst's website