Ex-Mayor Slams 'Rusty' Roundabout Sculpture

The Birmingham Post (England), April 6, 2007 | Go to article overview
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Ex-Mayor Slams 'Rusty' Roundabout Sculpture


Byline: By Emma Pinch

A 25-foot high iron sculpture of a navigational instrument installed on a major roundabout in Stratford-upon-Avon is causing uproar amongst residents.

Former mayor of the town Cyril Bennis claims he has been bombarded with complaints about the pounds 100,000 public art work erected this week on a busy roundabout on the junction of Trinity Road and Banbury Road.

The structure takes the form of a partially buried, giant armillary - a sphere contructed of seven interlocking rings with the sun at the centre - and inspired by the 16th century navigational tools its designers found at the Greenwich observatory.

The sculpture is fashioned in corten steel - the same material as Birmingham's Iron Man and the Angel of the North.

Mr Bennis said: "It is a horrendous mess of rusty steel. It should come with a health warning. Dozens of residents have complained and people have come up to me in the street to complain about it. Nice ladies have been swearing about it.

"What has a steel navigational instrument do with the town of Stratford-upon-Avon? We are supposed to be a world class town. It would be more appropriate for a northern town like Sheffield or a place with a naval links links like Plymouth or the Greenwich observatory."

He added: "To make matters worse it is on a gateway route into the town for everyone to see.

"There will be a good home for it somewhere but it is completely out of character for Stratford-upon-Avon."

The work was designed by public artists Renn and Thacker, and were commissioned by the Stratford Renaissance Group - Stratford's Market Town Initiative group, part of World Class Stratford. It was funded by the developer of the adjoining Trinity Meads housing project.

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