Little Italy art installation puzzles pedestrians
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Little Italy art installation puzzles pedestrians

OTTAWA – A new public art installation in Little Italy isn’t finished yet, but it’s already raising eyebrows.

The piece is called “Bambini,” and sits at the corner of Preston and Gladstone streets.

The sculptures, which are supposed to represent a child’s drawing of a soccer team, cost about $650,000 and were financed by local businesses.

The figures are intended to welcome people to the neighbourhood but they are getting a cool reception.

“At first glance, I think it’s pretty ugly,” said Isaiah, glancing up at the installation. “It looks like … people with different coloured spoon heads.”

Meanwhile others like Aida think the shapes look like bowling pins.

“We thought they were building a bowling alley,” she said with a giggle.

The large cement columns have colourful tops with eyes and big smiles — supposed to be the players’ faces.

After the art’s concept is explained to them, some people like it a little bit more.

“That’s kind of cute,” said one woman, who didn’t want to be named. “(But) they should have a plaque somewhere explaining that.”

A few finishing touches will be added to the piece, including soccer balls and benches in front of the sculptures, where people can sit. Lights will also be installed in the medallions around the childrens’ necks.

The Preston Street BIA has been saving for 10 years to pay for the art piece.

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