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George Street sculpture divides Sydneysiders

The design of the $3.5 million Cloud Arch sculpture that will be erected outside Sydney Town Hall in 2017 has provoked mixed reactions from Sydney residents.

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It's inspired by a cloud but is reminding Sydneysiders of everything from a falling tissue to the marshmallow man from Ghostbusters.

Social media lit up with riotous discussion today after the City of Sydney council revealed their plans for a $9 million public art initiative.

The key work spurring most of the digital chatter is an undulating white arch that will soar from the pavement on George Street more than 50 metres into the sky, before looping back to earth to frame the Town Hall.

Pavilion, by Hany Armanious. Click for more photos

City Art

Pavilion, by Hany Armanious.

  • Pavilion, by Hany Armanious.
  • Pavilion (interior) by Hany Armanious.
  • The Distance of your Heart, by Tracey Emin.
  • Cloud Arch by Junya Ishigami.
  • Welcome to Redfern, by Reko Rennie.
  • Youngsters, By Caroline Rothwell, Barrack Street.
  • Rush, Bridge Lane, by Nike Savvas.
  • Earth v Sky by Alan Giddy.
  • In Between Two Worlds, Kimber Lane, by Jason Wing.
  • Forgotten Songs, Angel Place, by Michael Thomas Hill.

Designed by award-winning Japanese artist Junya Ishigami, the steel structure is inspired by a cloud, chosen to “evoke comfort, openness and freedom”.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore labelled the sculpture “awe inspiring”. Another of the councillors said it looked like Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Perhaps the public will be awed when it actually appears. So far, citizens are suggesting the sculpture be given noble titles such Cloud Arch, Booty Ghost, or the Monorail Reborn.

Other popular suggestions were The Ribbon, God’s Dental Floss, and The Skipping Rope.

Many commented on how feminine the outline looked, naming it after Dolly Parton and Marilyn Monroe. The sculpture appears to twist itself into different abstract figures depending on one's vantage point.

One of the most popular names was Space Noodle, a play on the name of Seattle's iconic restaurant and viewing deck that towers more than 180 metres above the city.

The bold bid to put more iconic art in the city's centre has left some simply bewildered. 

Others were delighted as memes swiftly sprouted across the social media platforms.

But for every joke or light-hearted name suggestion swirling about on social media, there was a comment or two decrying the sculpture as a waste of money.

Others added specific spending priorities the council should have focused on instead into the discussions.

Whatever it ends up being called, it will be one of three sculptures installed in the city.

The Kent Street underpass will soon be spangled with 60 handmade bronze birdcages by iconic British artist Tracy Emin, while Belmore Park near Central Station will become home to a towering, dark blue milk crate by Egyptian artist Hany Armanious.

You can share your nicknames for the sculpture and feedback in the comments here.