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Mermaid sculpture finds permanent home alongside West Nipissing bay

A large mermaid sculpture, which was purchased by the Sturgeon Falls Beautification Group four years ago, has found a permanent resting place overlooking Minnehaha Bay.

Basking in the sun and perched on a rock near the bay is West Nipissing's not-so-little mermaid.

Named Marina, she's seven feet long from head to fluke and she weighs about 200 pounds.

"Our goal is to not only beautify, but to have attractions or pieces of art for people to talk about and come and see," said the beautification group's founder Gayle Primeau.

Marina was in municipal storage for the past three years as the municipality and the beautification group tried to find a permanent location.

That is until just recently, the group acquired a piece of vacant private property near the bay for her to rest.

"It's a relief because you know residents paid and for this to see Marina out," said Primeau.

"So for myself and for the group it's a relief."

Council had a few concerns about whether the sculpture should be located on municipal property.

It feared the sharp metal in the sculpture's hair and scales could injure someone climbing on it or someone taking a photo with it. The municipality didn't want to take the risk.

"It really fell around liability if someone gets hurt, the municipality ends up being liable for that," said West Nipissing Mayor Kathleen Rochon.

"We live in a society where municipalities end up as targets of lawsuits."

Rochon said council "tried its hardest" to find a solution that would benefit all parties. Council also found out installing the sculpture on public property at a height not accessible to the public would have cost $18,000.

Rochon, however, is pleased with the location where Marina can been seen but not accessed.

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"We're really happy that the beautification group found a good home for Marina," she said.

Now with a permanent home, Marina the mermaid will be keeping a watchful eye on the calm, soothing waters.

"I'm very happy. She welcomes everybody to come to the bay," said Primeau. Top Stories

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