Past vandalism may hold clue to shock Horizon ball ‘explosion’, says Geraldton Mayor

Phoebe PinMidwest Times
The City of Greater Geraldton is looking at replacement options after the Horizon sculpture was destroyed.
Camera IconThe City of Greater Geraldton is looking at replacement options after the Horizon sculpture was destroyed.

Vandalism to the Horizon ball earlier this year could hold the clue to the destruction of Geraldton’s most photographed icon, says City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn.

It is understood the $80,000 sculpture — a two-tonne hollow acrylic sphere holding 1800 litres of water — shattered on Saturday night, with a nearby resident reporting the incident to police after the ball “exploded”. Police on Tuesday said they were still reviewing CCTV footage of the Beresford foreshore from the night, but were not pursuing anyone in a criminal context.

It is unclear if the weekend’s hot temperatures, which reached a maximum of 38C on Saturday, played any part.

The incident comes after youths with gings damaged Horizon earlier this year, with specialist repairs costing the City $8000.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


Mr Van Styn said artist Lucy Humphrey had suggested this vandalism may have contributed to Horizon’s demise.

“The artist is devastated and cannot fathom how it occurred without very deliberate damage earlier, not the night in question,” he said.

Negotiations with insurers and Humphrey about replacing the artwork are ongoing, with Mr Van Styn saying the City was considering commissioning an exact replica or a similar version of the Horizon ball.

“The City is aware there is lot of public sentiment to replace the ball,” he said. “This is by far the City’s most popular art piece, not only in the way it looks but the way people could interact with it.

“There is a ball approximately 30cm smaller in diameter available on the east coast, but the artist has also mentioned she is able to recreate the ball should we commission her to do so. All things cost and insurance are still under negotiation.” Images of the ball have spread far and wide on social media, attracting tourists from all over the country. Queenslanders Mark and Janice Maxfield have been travelling in WA for months, and arrived in town at the weekend only to find the ball missing.

“We’d seen it on all the Facebook travel pages and thought ‘while we’ve got some time we’ll go have a look’. It was on the bucket list,” Mrs Maxfield said on Monday.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails