Antony Gormley Plymouth statue cost more than £700k

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image captionAngel of the North sculptor Antony Gormley created the 'Look II' at Plymouth's West Hoe

The cost of installing a cast-iron statue on Plymouth's West Hoe has been revealed as more than £700,000.

Plymouth City Council had previously refused to disclose how much they paid for the Look II Statue, created by Sir Antony Gormley.

However, a budget document shared by the council on Monday showed £764,038 had been allocated to the project.

Conservative councillor Patrick Nicholson said it was a "waste of public money" on a "rusty wreck".

The Look II statue was installed in 2020 as part of the Mayflower 400 celebrations and the opening of a new arts complex in Plymouth.

The city council refused to disclose its sum in Freedom of Information requests due to a confidentiality agreement with the sculptor, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

However, it estimated £425,000 would be spent on the installation costs, including strengthening and repairs to the listed West Hoe Pier.

'Unimpressive'

The newly revealed sum of £764,038 suggested the statue itself cost about £339,000.

Conservative councillor Mark Deacon told the council meeting that the "unimpressive" statue was a "white elephant" which had been named "Rusty Reg" by those who opposed it.

He added: "Is it really bringing value for money, since it cost three-quarters of a million pounds to install?"

City council Labour leader Tudor Evans defended the decision, stating that the budget for Mayflower 400, including the statue, was agreed with cross-party support.

He added that the unveiling of the statue had resulted in huge publicity for the city and said he viewed the nickname 'Rusty Reg' as a sign of endearment.

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