People of Belfast central to new city centre artwork

Date published: 19 November 2021

The famous maritime feature masts in Belfast’s Donegall Place have been updated with new imagery to highlight that the people of Belfast make the city.

People of Belfast central to new city centre artwork
People of Belfast central to new city centre artwork

The eight maritime feature masts celebrating Belfast’s maritime heritage were installed in 2010 by the Department for Communities.

The designs have been inspired by the Hidden Depths narrative - that the people of Belfast walk on (or above) the waters.  The silhouettes for each person are filled with the energy of the city, reflecting that in Belfast, the people make the city. 

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said:

“The work to replace the banners and upgrade the lighting system on Donegall Place will reinvigorate this busy street. The masts symbolise a look back at our fantastic maritime history and the banners look forward to creating a vibrant and welcoming city centre for all. The project has been completed in time to celebrate the festive season and welcome visitors to the city centre.”   

In addition, the masts have been installed with a modern lighting system which will allow the lighting to be changed to fit specific themes and will be operated by Belfast City Council broadly along the lighting protocols applied at the City Hall. 

The introduction of new masts lighting system will coincide with Belfast’s festive season which will get off to a magical start with two ‘enchanted evenings’ on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 November marking the start of a seasonal programme of family fun and activities.

Lord Mayor Councillor Kate Nicholl said:

“It’s great to see these new colourful masts go up along Donegall Place, just in time for our enchanted evenings this weekend as Belfast lights up for the festive season. The artwork is inspired by one of the themes in our cultural strategy for the city, and celebrates our rich maritime history. They will add a splash of colour to our streets and complement other cultural activity in the run-up to our year of culture in 2024.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Department for Communities in association with Belfast City Council has recently completed a project to replace the original banners on each of the eight Maritime Feature Masts along Donegall Place in Belfast city centre.
  2. While the original banners depicted the city’s ship building heritage, the opportunity has been taken to change the theme to tie in with the vision of Belfast City Council’s ten year cultural strategy ‘A City Imagining 2020 to 2030; the new banners are an interpretation of the tourism theme ‘Hidden Depths (A Maritime City)’.
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