As I was scrolling down my Facebook page as I do once a week, I saw this one story that caught my attention. It was a story reported by local TV network CNC 3 about the great mayor of Port of Spain, Joel Martinez, ordering the removal and destruction of the sculptures that used to adorn the Queen’s Park Savannah.
I have always looked forward to passing there every morning on my way to work to see what new pieces of art the artist created because he was so talented having produced a variety of different animals and various other objects from wood. The animals reminded me of the zodiac signs and they were so compelling to look at; you just could not take your eyes off of them.
I often wondered who made those pieces every time I passed by because I never saw anyone, I always saw new pieces of art featured and this was something that I looked forward to seeing daily.
However, the great new mayor of Port of Spain, decided to lump this auspicious artist with other people who were plying their trade around the Brian Lara Promenade, stating that what he was doing was illegal. This was the justification he used, and, while the artist was not there, ordered the removal and destruction of the sculptures. Yes, you read correctly. He ordered the DESTRUCTION of the artist’s works.
Now, if the great mayor had a problem with what the artist was doing, shouldn’t the oh great mayor, not have consulted with the man before doing this barbaric act? And to top it off, he acted as if he did the best service to everyone in Trinidad and Tobago!
It was nefarious!
I was so enraged and hurt, especially after seeing the artist, (who I finally saw for the first time), break down in tears because of what they did. They had no right to destroy the man’s pieces of art.
What was the real motive or justification for that inhuman act? Which ‘big man’ wanted this artist’s work removed from the pavement? No one ever complained about the artist’s pieces, at least not that I know of. Most people used to look forward to seeing the art. It was something to look forward to.
It was terrible to see that the higher ups have zero appreciation for all the hard work that goes into creating a piece of art since the great mayor saw it as garbage that needed to be dumped.
I am very, very disappointed at the manner in which this situation was handled. This man did not deserve this sort of treatment. Shame on you Mister Mayor for not handling this situation in a better manner.
To the artist, I certainly hope that this does not discourage you from continuing to do something that you love because you are very talented.
I hope that Mayor Joel Martinez battles more ‘important’ matters in the city of Port of Spain as ‘efficiently’ as he handled this issue.
And just as one of his predecessors before him, who would forever be remembered for his distasteful statements made against women, Joel Martinez shall be remembered for his callous act of destroying one man’s pieces of art, which enlivened the largest roundabout in the world.