The artwork Searching for Utopia, better known as the turtle of Jan Fabre, is just back from a long absence, or it has been severely damaged.
The city of Newport purchased the turtle by Fabre in 2003, during the first edition of Beaufort. It was given a place on the beach, because the artist found that the location is an integral part of the work. There had, however, suffered from the weather and the fact that a lot of visitors the picture as a klimtuig saw.
The turtle with the image of Fabre was twice restored. The recent renovation with the image a layer of gold leaf was, but it cost the city 140,000 euros. After an absence of five years was given a new, prominent position on a plinth with water feature on the Fabreplein in Nieuwpoort-Bad, but now it seems that history repeats itself.
‘Strangers, at night the image is climbed, and the surface thereof is severely damaged’, says mayor Geert Vanden Broucke (CD&V). ‘There awaits the perpetrators a big bill.’
‘Henceforth it is forbidden to Searching for Utopia to touch the water around the work to defile it by any means. The penalty is a fine of 250 euros, ” says Vanden Broucke.