King Midas Sculpture
The story of King Midas is a tale of caution and selfishness. Ruling over Phrygia in Asia Minor, King Midas was a man who had everything a King would want, including a luxurious castle which he shared with his beautiful daughter and riches far more than any of his people. Despite this, King Midas believed that he required more and thought the only way to eternal happiness was through gold. Legend has it that he often covered his body in golden objects, as if to be bathed in its glory and could often be found counting his golden coins.
The Gods granted Midas one wish and, with greed taking the better of him, he asked for everything he touched to be turned to gold. At first, his wish thrilled him, but soon his happiness turned to misery and pain as he realised his destiny. Upon hugging his daughter and ultimately turning her to gold, he begged for the curse to be lifted, which luckily was granted to him by the Gods. Learning the errors of his ways, Midas became grateful for what he had and shared his fortune with his people, making him well loved across the land.
In an effort to bring this tale to the forefront of people’s minds and to illustrate that money doesn’t bring happiness (especially in a society where materialistic gain is so prevalent), we wanted to create something that would question the value of money and its use in the world whilst reminding people that real happiness can be fulfilled by surrounding yourself with others. Debbie Rees Deacon, a theatrical designer and set maker, was commissioned to create the larger-than-life sculpture of King Midas. The golden statue of King Midas was created and then decorated using 2,000 un-circulated £1 coins and a further 40 £2 coins for his crown. Quite literally, King Midas is bathed in golden coins, just like the myth suggests! This sculpture can currently be found at the Centre in our reception area.