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Giant spider sculpture in East Vancouver may be saved

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There is new hope that a giant spider sculpture in East Vancouver may be saved, but it won’t remain in the same location.

The arachnid art display was put up near the Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain Station in mid-March.

Just over a week after it appeared, the city announced it needed to be taken down.

“It’s got tons of people talking, which is the whole point of public art. The problem with it is that they didn't go through public art process the city has,” said Coun. Peter Meiszner. “One of the issues with the location of it is that it’s above an active rail line so there are some concerns there.”

After the unsanctioned art was ordered to be removed, the anonymous but well-known creator, Junko, took to social media to “save spidey.”

They called on Vancouverites and beyond to reach out to the city and push for it to stay.

“The city has received a high volume of feedback via 311 regarding the unsanctioned spider artwork, with the majority of it in favour of the arachnid,” the City of Vancouver said in a statement.

While the giant spider will be removed from its current East Vancouver location, Meiszner has asked city staff to work with the artist to have the sculpture re-homed.

“The fact that it’s 100 per cent recycled materials, it’s sustainable and it’s a great piece of art, it hits on several points we really want to elevate as the City of Vancouver,” he said.

Meiszner said it will still have to go through the city’s public art approval and review process before any next steps or decisions can be made, and it also needs to be cleared with the artist.

The removal process is complex, according to Meiszner, and it won’t be done overnight. He said the city won’t know for a few weeks how much the removal will cost. 

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