Wales

Opposition mounts to new sculpture at Flint Castle

A tower section of Flint Castle overlooking the Dee estuary Image copyright Immanuel Giel
Image caption Construction of Flint Castle began in 1277

Hundreds of people have signed a petition against a second planned sculpture at a Flintshire castle, after the first design was scrapped in 2017.

A planned iron ring sculpture at Flint Castle was thrown out amid claims it symbolised the oppression of Welsh people.

The petition claims the new design will "represent the same issues".

Flintshire council leader Ian Roberts said local people had voted for the latest circular design.

The 9m tall (29ft) design was revealed last week as the new preferred option at the castle, one of the first to be built in Wales by Edward I.

Bristol sculptor Rich White won a £62,500 contract with his idea to "celebrate the labourers and craftsmen who, some willingly and some forcibly, built Flint Castle and, by extension, were responsible for the creation and growth of Flint as a town".

Image copyright Rich White
Image caption In: The planned new artwork is 12 metres across and visitors will be able to walk through it
Image caption Out: An artist impression of the iron ring sculpture that was rejected

But an online petition, launched by Welsh History Memes for Independence Seeking Teens, has attracted almost 900 names in four days.

It said the money could "be used towards more meaningful things" while other opponents said the cash could be spent on schools.

Former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood also criticised the new design, tweeting: "Why would we want to 'celebrate' Welsh oppression and exploitation?"

The new sculpture will be made of 300 vertical columns arranged across 12m (39ft) with a circular design.

A search for an alternative sculpture was launched after the original was abandoned amid claims from critics that it celebrated the conquest of Wales.

Mr Roberts told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that "if this money did not come to Flint Castle, it would not go to local schools and it would not go back to the local council tax. It would go back to Welsh Government".

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