Initially when I read the headline about the giant pebble, as it was disparagingly called by The Sun, installed by University College Hospital as a piece of public art I was somewhat disheartened to see so much spent on a lump of rock – when so many NHS trusts are in financial difficulty.
A HOSPITAL has blown Â£70,000 on a ROCK to decorate its front entrance.
The six-ton lump of granite was excavated in Brazil and shipped to London, where University College Hospital had it polished at vast expense.
Last night the rock, looking like a giant pebble, was blasted by patient groups and medical staff who believe the cash should have been spent on healing the sick.
Importantly, the money used for this art was not NHS money, but came from charitable donations and from the King’s Fund – who do not allow their money to be spent on patient care (thus negating The Sun’s risible idea that 14,000 Viagra tablets could have been bought instead).
I don’t agree with some of the more dodgy arguments for the stone, “A healing environment is crucial to a positive patient experience.”, but I do think public art is of use for its own sake. Unlike, some of the respondents at the BBC.