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'Spidey' is allowed to stay for six months, local politician says

"Phobia" by Junko looms below a bridge near the SkyTrain tracks. "Phobia" by Junko looms below a bridge near the SkyTrain tracks.
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A giant spider sculpture in East Vancouver that the city said would be taken down because it was installed without permission won’t be squashed, according to an update from a local politician.

Coun. Peter Meiszner shared the news on Twitter Tuesday that the piece will be allowed to continue creeping out commuters – at least for a little while longer.

"If your 'spidey senses' were tingling, it's because I've got some good news to share," he writes in a tweet.

"Based on the city’s review, staff have determined that it is safe and possible to leave “Phobia” in place on a temporary basis up to six months, subject to reaching an agreement with the artist. This agreement would clarify timelines and responsibilities for maintenance and eventual removal."

More information will be shared after conversations with the artist and city partners, Meiszner writes.

The mysterious arachnid was installed under the cover of night under a bridge near the Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain Station in March, surprising—and scaring—passersby.

The sculpture was created by an anonymous Montreal-based artist who goes by the name Junko. It is made of recycled metal. The artist had two city-sanctioned sculptures of giant ants on display outside the Bentall Centre Gallery until March 31.

Soon after the spider, titled “Phobia,” appeared under the bridge, the city stated that it would be removed as it wasn’t approved and is near an active rail line.

Junko took to social media to encourage Vancouverites to “save spidey,” and the City of Vancouver said it received many 311 calls “in favour of the arachnid.”

The city then announced that “Phobia” would be removed from the SkyTrain station and moved to a more suitable location for public display.

But Tuesday’s tweet from Meiszner confirms that the beloved and feared spider is here to stay, and in its original spot, meaning SkyTrain commuters will continue to be able to greet their eight-legged friend for months to come.

With files from CTV Vancouver's Lisa Steacy

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