Alan Turing sculpture for King's College, Cambridge, approved

  • Published
Alan Turing
Image caption,
Alan Turing attended King's College, Cambridge from 1931

A sculpture commemorating the wartime codebreaker Alan Turing at the University of Cambridge's King's College has been approved.

Designed by Sir Antony Gormley, it will be made up of 19 steel blocks and stands more than 3.6m (12ft) tall.

Turing studied at King's College from 1931 to 1934 and was elected a fellow there in 1935.

A college spokesperson said the sculpture would be "a source of great pleasure and interest to many people".

BBC copyright
BBC copyright
Alan Turing

1912 – 1954

  • 1912 Alan Mathison Turing was born in West London

  • 1936 Produced “On Computable Numbers”, aged 24

  • 1952 Convicted of gross indecency for his relationship with a man

  • 2013 Received royal pardon for the conviction

Source: BBC

The sculpture is due to be placed next to the Wilkins Building and will be a permanent fixture within college grounds, the Local Democracy Report Service said.

Cambridge City Council's planning committee heard Historic England say the sculpture would be "far more visible" than the proposals implied and could cause "some harm" to the significance of the historic college.

King's College said the sculpture will be viewed by Cambridge residents, university members and those who buy a £10 resident's card, which lasts for three years.

Image source, Hannah Brown/LDRS
Image caption,
The sculpture, designed by Sir Antony Gormley, will be made up of 19 steel blocks

"Paying visitors will also be able at allocated times to view from close up," a college spokesperson told the council.

"It is hard to overestimate the public benefit of this major work of commemorative art for the college, university and the city.

"It will, we all believe, be a source of great pleasure and interest to many people."

Some councillors on the planning committee said the sculpture should be in a more public location so it was more accessible.

But King's College said the location was chosen by the sculptor and the college could not be opened up as it would be "impossibly disruptive" for students.

Members of the committee approved the proposal but said the college should look at improving public access to the sculpture.

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