NANAO, Japan >> A giant squid sculpture built in Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture to promote the city’s main industry, squid fishing, has generated economic benefits of about $4 million, a announced the municipal government.
The play, funded primarily by a government COVID-19 grant, drew criticism from residents who called the project wasteful. But so far, the statue has generated revenue that is 22 times the cost of construction.
The 42-1/2-foot-long representation of a squid, made of fiber-reinforced plastic, was built at the city’s Ikanoeki Tsukumall tourist site in March 2021 and named “Ika King” (“Squid King”) . Visitors love to take photos with the squid monument.
A private consultant hired by the city’s promotion department surveyed visitors from early June to late August. Of the 439 people surveyed, around 45% said they had visited the site to view the Squid King. In August alone, more than 1,000 social media posts mentioned the statue, attracting more visitors to the area.
At a construction cost of $183,000, most of the monument was paid for with a $170,000 grant.
“Compared to the cost of construction, the monument has generated considerable effects. I think we may be able to get some understanding from those who criticize the monument,” said an official from Noto’s regional promotion department.