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Crane enabled Controversial artwork towers over Zurich


Art installation “Hafenkran” (harbour crane) finally stands in position on the Limmatquai in Zurich on Thursday. The rusty crane, built in 1963 in the German port of Rostock, weighs 90 tonnes with a height of more than 30 metres.

It will be officially “opened” on May 10. Once a week after that – until the crane is dismantled and scrapped at the beginning of 2015 – a connected foghorn will echo through the city.

The project, chosen as part of an international competition, has ruffled feathers since its launch in 2009 and triggered a debate about art in public spaces. Several polls have showed a majority of locals being against the installation, with the rightwing Swiss People’s Party describing it as “unnecessary”. The crane is costing the city of Zurich CHF600,000 ($680,000).

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