A Sydney Northern Beaches council has allocated up to $1.7 million in funding for a public artwork to remember coronavirus.

Taxpayer funds of at least $100,000 will be allocated to the project along the popular coastal walk in the area.

“The Public Art Working Group commission an artwork as a permanent artwork to a minimum of $100,000 funded from the allocated Merger Savings Fund, to be included as part of the Coast Walk; to remember, as a narrative, how the Northern Beaches community responded during the COVID-19 pandemic,” minutes from the Northern Beaches local council meeting read.

“Such a project may also consider additional funding opportunities with donations from the community.”

The artwork is the idea of a local councillor, who would like to mark the historic nature of the pandemic with local art work.

The councillor also argued that the cash would be used to help the struggling arts sector.

Councillor Penny Philpott told 7 News Sydney that the artwork would be created to “tell the story of how the Northern Beaches amused themselves.”

“My grandfather died of the Spanish Flu and I would have loved to have known how they coped,” Philpott explained.

The artwork was proposed on the basis that it would support the arts community.

“My idea is to help out our arts community who have been having a difficult time mentally and financially – it’s a lifeline offered to our arts community.”

This is the first artwork to be commissioned from the fund.

Councillor Anon said the idea that one statue would be a financial saviour “was a furphy” because artists could access JobKeeper as sole traders.

“The administration allocated $2 million in that fund to public artworks in 2017 anyway and you can’t have all 7000 artists on the Northern Beaches working on one coronavirus statue.”