One does not simply mess with Fibonacci (especially in Belgium)

10 Mar

I have nothing against combining art and mathematics. After all, Leonardo da Vinci still stands as a major example who successfully did this, right? But if you are going to do it, well, at least do it correctly: I have recently read that an artist who created a sculpture to depict first few numbers from the famous Fibonacci sequence actually did not:

One does not simply mess with Fibonacci

One does not simply mess with Fibonacci

Maltese artist Norbert Francis Attard created a sculpture titled “Boundaries of Infinity” with a seemingly nice Fibonacci series. The work was part of last year’s Beaufort 04 arts parcours on the Flemish coast and now has a permanent home in front of the town hall in De Panne.

It is not to be found, however, in the De Panne sculpture, as alert mathematics teacher Dirk Huylebroeck recently discovered. Attard, who was paid €10,000 for the work by the De Panne city council, made a blunder. His series goes 1,597 … 2,584 … 4,541. That last number should be 4,181. De Panne mayor, Ann Vanheste, has demanded that the artist fix the mistake.

A scuplture with a few Fibonacci numbers... or not

A sculpture with a few Fibonacci numbers… or not

Attard tried to make the best of it. “It is indeed an artwork about perfection and infinity,” he told the VRT. “But it was made by a man, so there’s an error in it. That fits in perfectly with what I was trying to say.”

I think Mr. Attard could have simply said: “Well, it is not the Fibonacci series after all, let’s call it the Attard series, and we’ll have a deal, shall we?” 😉 On the other hand, the story has a huge potential to draw the thinker into age-old philosophical discussions. Nevertheless, it could be a fair compromise if we agreed upon a similarity metric between series and then pay the artist based on how close he got to his original claim. Life is the art of approximation after all, so why not convey this message to the people who will enjoy this piece of ‘art’?


Posted by on March 10, 2013 in komik, Math


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

3 responses to “One does not simply mess with Fibonacci (especially in Belgium)

  1. Drs Pi

    March 17, 2013 at 13:27

    Attard was paid 100,000 euro, not 10,000!

  2. Emre Sevinç

    March 18, 2013 at 00:13

    Wow! A pretty expensive mistake indeed! 🙂


    April 1, 2013 at 11:26

    You and others have given much importance to how much I have been paid by De Panne City Council. I am categorically stating that De Panne City Council did not give me not even one euro for my work.

    As far as I am concerned, I have been exploited as an artist.

    Norbert Francis Attard


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: