A NEW art piece should rise in Chewton despite fears of "stealth statues" undermining the small town's historic streetscape, Mount Alexander Shire officers have recommended.
The 2.15 metre tall statue of a woman holding a picture of a miner panning for gold would be visible from Main Street and would join a number of other pieces by the same artist.
The wooden piece has triggered strong opinions even before the artist gets permission to install it at 160 Main Road.
A total of 30 people have contacted the council to voice their objection or support.
Those who oppose the installation say it would undermine the town's heritage values and would be too easy to see from the street, according to a shire officer report submitted ahead of Tuesday's meeting of councillors.
Objectors' main concerns also include a concern that "Chewton is being taken over by Stealth [sic] statues", according to a comment quoted in the officers' summary.
The town already has a number of wooden statues including one depicting an 1850s miner, among others that backers say are culturally significant.
Supporters argue the new sculpture would depict Chewton's history, could help attract tourists and will be good for business.
Officers say the statue would be in keeping with the town's heritage character and could bolster tourism experiences.
"These sculptures are of historic and respected local identities/characters," they told councillors.
The officers also rejected claims the streetscape was being taken over by stealthily installed statues.
"All applications for statues are dealt with on a case-by-case basis, and in consultation with Council's Heritage Advisors," they said.
Those advisors agreed the proposed statue would not undermine the historical significance of nearby properties.
"The sculpture does not obscure the building and could be read as a garden element separate to the shop," they said.
Shire officers urged councillors to grant the project a planning permit as long as new detailed plans are drawn up and submitted.
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