The bronze statue of Victor Hugo and an octopus on a granite bench was covered by a huge French flag in front of the Town Church on Sunday.
A crowd gathered to watch as the Lt-Governor, Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder, and Lady Corder pulled the covering off, revealing a statue of the French literary great looking wistfully across St Peter Port harbour towards France.
It was the last of three sculptures by local artist Mark Cook that feature in Town, supported by the Guernsey Arts Commission, joining the donkey near Market Square and the Liberation Day statue of the local family.
Director of the commission, Trevor Wakefield, thanked all those involved in making this last one possible, including John Ramplin Trust, the planning department, Creasey’s, the Arts Foundation Guernsey, Investec, the St Peter Port constables and Granite Le Pelley.
‘The pandemic and lockdown presented us with some issues and a slight delay, in fact everything that could have gone wrong did,’ he said.
‘But here we are today and I am so pleased that there are so many people celebrating art.’
Mr Cook gives his time, talent and energy regularly into the arts scene in Guernsey and explained the creative thinking behind his latest piece.
‘I want the octopus, which is a key part of Victor Hugo’s Toilers of the Sea book that he wrote in Guernsey, to represent creativity creeping up on him,’ he said.
‘I hope locals and visitors will feel inspired to be creative with this bench as well, taking and sharing pictures online.’
After unveiling the bench, which was met with a round of applause from the crowd, Sir Ian said it was an honour and privilege to do so.
‘I hope this marks the continuation and expansion of celebration and understanding of the extraordinary work of Victor Hugo on the island.’