A luxury developer hung a $4.8 million chandelier above a former homeless encampment in Vancouver

A $4.8 million dollar art installation titled "Spinning Chandelier" hanging under a bridge in Vancouver, Canada, is receiving mixed reactions from onlookers.

Posted: Dec 3, 2019 7:20 PM
Updated: Dec 3, 2019 7:20 PM

There's a $4.8-million piece of public art hanging underneath a Vancouver bridge, and residents say it's distastefully positioned in an area formerly frequented by homeless people.

The Spinning Chandelier, designed by artist Rodney Graham, is and does what its title suggests: The 14- by 21-foot faux-crystal chandelier swivels rapidly, rising and falling over the course of 24 hours.

It's certainly a spectacle, but some passersby weren't sold on it when asked by CNN affiliate CBC.

"The price tag is way too high for what it is," retired artist Janice Rafael told CBC.

Head of public art for the City of Vancouver Eric Frederickson said he is bracing for criticism lobbed at the piece, created by artist Rodney Graham, but it should increase tourism to the "rough and functional space."

"For the artist, I think he was thinking more abstractly about the sculpture and the light possibilities in the chandelier," he told CBC. "I'm not sure how much the social implications are in there."

The city didn't fund the chandelier; that was up to luxury property developer Westbank. City officials required Westbank to create a public art piece as part of its deal to build Vancouver House, a new 59-story mixed-use building, CBC reported.

The New York Times reported the project cost $575 million, so the chandelier is fittingly luxe.

Homelessness in Vancouver on the rise

Before construction on the project began, the area was industrial, and the Granville bridge was known to shelter homeless people, CBC reported.

Vancouver's homeless population reached more than 2,220 people this year, the highest it's been since the city's homeless count started in 2002.

That amount is only a fraction of the the 60,000-plus people who are homeless in Los Angeles and even the 8,700 homeless people in Toronto, but it's concerning because the city doesn't know why these numbers have grown. Experts have pointed to shrinking affordable housing.

Westbank refuted criticism and said arts funding doesn't need to come at the expense of social causes.

"There is a pervasive attitude in our city that we must choose between contributing to social infrastructure or making other contributions, whether artistic or cultural, that are seen as less functional," the developer said in a statement to CBC. "Westbank does not view this as an 'either or' situation."

West Lafayette
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 79°
Kokomo
Overcast
74° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 74°
Rensselaer
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 70°
Fowler
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Williamsport
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Crawfordsville
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 74°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 75°
Delphi
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 75°
Monticello
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 75°
Logansport
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 46915

Reported Deaths: 2681
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11499683
Lake5053242
Elkhart316443
Allen2717128
St. Joseph186366
Cass16369
Hamilton1518100
Hendricks1386100
Johnson1254118
Porter71237
Tippecanoe6778
Madison64864
Clark63844
Bartholomew58244
Howard56057
LaPorte55326
Kosciusko5124
Vanderburgh4806
Jackson4653
LaGrange4657
Noble45728
Hancock43735
Boone43443
Delaware42949
Marshall4273
Shelby42025
Floyd37144
Morgan32531
Montgomery29320
Grant29026
Clinton2852
Monroe26628
Dubois2646
White26010
Decatur24832
Henry24315
Lawrence23624
Vigo2288
Dearborn22723
Harrison21022
Warrick21029
Greene18432
Miami1812
Jennings17111
Putnam1688
Scott1607
DeKalb1594
Daviess14116
Orange13523
Wayne1346
Perry1279
Steuben1262
Franklin1248
Jasper1142
Ripley1147
Carroll1102
Wabash1102
Fayette987
Newton9710
Whitley884
Starke853
Randolph784
Huntington712
Wells711
Jefferson701
Fulton681
Jay680
Washington661
Knox630
Pulaski621
Clay604
Gibson592
Rush563
Adams481
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey360
Spencer351
Fountain302
Tipton301
Crawford290
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike90
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events