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Crowdfunding could restore collapsed Wootton Bassett poppy

image copyrightBBC/Mark Humphrey
image captionThe 10ft wide sculpture weighs 4.5 tonnes

A crowdfunding campaign could be launched to help restore a 4.5-tonne poppy which collapsed in Royal Wootton Bassett.

The 10ft (3m) sculpture, named Forever, was created by a local artist in gratitude for the way the town honoured repatriated military personnel.

But it collapsed under its own weight in October 2017 and insurers refused to pay out, blaming a "design fault".

The town council is now considering a crowdfunding bid to pay for repairs.

A questionnaire was sent to 12,000 residents asking for their views about the damaged white marble structure, however only 67 people responded.

Deputy town mayor Steve Watts said: "We wanted to make sure everybody had their chance to put their feelings across.

"Unfortunately the old saying is you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

"I am disappointed that more people didn't come forward with their ideas."

media captionThe sculpture's bottom petal snapped overnight, causing the rest of the flower to fall over

Mr Watts said following a suggestion from a resident, the decision was made to explore crowdfunding for the replacement or repair of the poppy - either in the original marble or using other materials.

A less costly option would see the original poppy and its broken parts housed in a metal frame holding it in place.

Mr Watts said: "We are a small town and haven't got an abundance of money to fix these things, but we felt that it should not be dragged out any more.

"Pursuing one of these options should get things moving quicker."

A decision over the poppy will be made at a meeting of residents and councillors on Friday.

The coffins of 355 fallen military personnel passed through the town between spring 2007 and summer 2011, and the town's high street became a focal point for families of the deceased.

Related Topics

  • Royal Wootton Bassett
  • Statues and sculptures

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