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Dobell Memorial Sculpture

Dobell Memorial Sculpture

Pubic Art : Dobell Memorial Sculpture

Also Known As : Pyramid Tower

Also known As : The Silver Shish Kebab

Sculptor: © Herbert Flugelman (1923 – 26 February 2013)

Description: The Dobell Memorial sculpture is a 19.5m high stack of highly polished stainless steel shaped pyramids balancing atop each other. The highly reflective surfaces are intended to capture both the people and the surrounds.

Date: 1978

Location: Originally the Dobell sculpture was located next to the Martin Place fountain but was later moved to the intersection of Spring Street and Pitt Street, Sydney, Australia.

Controversy Alert : In 1976 a sculpture was proposed for 1 Martin Place in Sydney’s CBD, commissioned by the Dobell foundation, however the winning Flugelman entry was not entirely embraced by the kind folks of Sydney, which resulted in a delay in its installation. The Pyramid Tower was eventually and reluctantly installed 3 years later in 1979.

In 1996, following strong criticism by Sydney’s Lord Mayor Frank Sartor and equally  negative responses from the public, the sculpture was removed from 1 Martin Place and out of the public’s sight. It was later re-erected in a less prominent but more suited location, amongst the towering modern glass, concrete and steel buildings of Spring and Pitt Street.

Silver Shich Kebab Trivia: If you look very closely at the lower part of the sculpture you can still see the marks made by skateboarders who used it as a stunt ramp when located in 1 Martin Place.

Herbert Flugelman: Bert Flugelman was born in Vienna, Austria and migrated to Australia in 1938.

To say Herbert Fugelman was a man who struggled for his art is an understatement.  The artist took on various jobs to support his art, including working as a jackaroo, film extra, umbrella salesman, hotel handyman and a steeplejack. In 1954 Herbert and his wife (who worked as a bread cutter) raised enough money to travel to England . There they planned to open an exhibition of his paintings and sketches at a London gallery.  As fate would have it, after arriving in Europe Herbert was struck down with severe polio. He was left penniless and paralysed in one arm and leg. This set back didn’t deter him from holding the exhibitions in London and then New York.


  1. Yep, it’s The Silver Shich Kebab all right and I love the thing. I always liked it.. in Martin Place, and especially now where it is standing tall among the tall towers of Sydney. Hopefully maybe the rest of Sydney will love this wonderful sculpture too one day.

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