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Youghal sculpture to commemorate Captain Ahab

From The Evening Echo

YOUGHAL is commissioning a statue of the legendary literary figure of Captain Ahab from the novel Moby Dick to commemorate the filming of the movie version of the book in the east Cork town in 1954.

The board of the Youghal 4 All organisation is seeking expressions of interest from sculptors of all levels of experience to developing a new external sculpture to be situated at Barry’s Lane near Moby Dick’s Bar.

The commission is to commemorate the filming of the Moby Dick in Youghal and celebrate the town’s links with the famous American novel.

The commissioners are seeking a figurative stone sculpture of Captain Ahab.

Moby Dick, (also known as ‘The Whale’) is a novel by American writer Herman Melville, published in 1851.

Sailor Ishmael tells the story of the obsessive quest of Ahab, captain of the whaler Pequod, for revenge on Moby Dick, the white whale that on the previous whaling voyage, bit off Ahab’s leg at the knee.

The book achieved limited success followings its publication. However, in the early 1900s, it began to receive more acclaim and is now regarded as one of the greatest American novels.

In 1954, director John Huston chose Youghal as the location to stand in for the whaling town of New Bedford in Massachusetts for a major Hollywood movie version of the book.

The film starred Gregory Peck and generated huge interest in Cork with thousands travelling to the town to glimpse the Hollywood crew in action.

Now the town wants a permanent piece that will commemorate the town’s links with the book and film.

The budget for the sculpture is €35,000 and Youghal 4 All hope to have it completed and in place by the end of 2018. The deadline for sculptors to make a submission is February 9.