Luna Park Destroyed
1st October 2010
Luna Park by Heather and Ivan Morison was a full scale sculpture of 'Ultrasauros'. Originally the largest dinosaur ever found untill the fossil record of Ultrasauros was debunked and revealed to be made of the remains of several dinosaurs.
This was a major art work in all senses of the word. Commissioned by Chapter in Cardiff the sculpture, 'Luna Park' as the artists titled it, was to tour from Portsmouth to Colchester before finally coming to Cardiff. At 53ft (16M) the dinosaur sculpture could be seen from the Isle of Wight, standing on Southsea Common in Portsmouth.
'Luna Park' was well received in Portsmouth and since the summer it has been the focal point for a number of events from a Volks Wagen enthusiats rally to days of kite flying. It was so popular that a local petition was organised to try to keep the sculpture permanently on Southsea Common.
The sculpture was fabricated at the former Yugo car factory in Serbia, a fibreglass on metal frame construction. There had been a real revival of the sense of community among the factory workers and their families as they fabricated the work to Heather and Ivan's design. Ivan drove out to Serbia many times to oversee the construction, creating a film of the process on his visits. It's not just the artists, Chapter and the people of Portsmouth who bonded with this sculpture, it's also those families who were involved in the sculptures construction in Serbia who will be devastated by this news.
The fire service was called to attend the blaze at 3am last night.
Acting crew manager Scott Yule, from Hampshire fire service, said: "We were called to reports of a dinosaur alight on Southsea Common - not something you get everyday on the call log.
"Because of its location we couldn't get very close to it, but we walked nearer with hose jets and managed to fully extinguish the fire. It was the fibreglass coating which really caught alight. The neck of the dinosaur is on the floor, completely collapsed, it is quite a sight unfortunately."
Hampshire police said the cause of the fire was confirmed as "doubtful".
A spokesman said: "Officers from Portsmouth's target patrol team are looking into the matter."
'Luna Park' was due to be removed fro Southsea Common on the 10th of October.