Public art should be accessible

King Edmund statue, Parkway, Bury St Edmunds
King Edmund statue, Parkway, Bury St Edmunds
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You’ve got to feel sorry for St Edmund: First he’s slain by the Danes and eleven hundred years later consigned to the outer reaches of Parkway along with his new wheatsheaf companion.

Who is the council’s cultural tsar who keeps locating these splendid pieces in the most inappropriate places? What next, illuminated cascading fountains and a ‘son et lumiere’ display at the Westgate mini roundabouts? Public art should be just that! Accessible to view at close quarters, to walk around and touch, without jumping across two lanes of traffic. Witness Maggi Hambling’s ‘Scallop shells’ on Aldeburgh beach that fit perfectly into their surroundings. Why not move these works to the arid concrete of Charter Square in front of the Apex, where they can imbue visitors with a sense of the town’s history, whilst drawing attention away from the vacant shopfronts. I fear it is only a matter of time before the glint of slings and arrows causes a hapless motorist the outrageous fortune to plough into St Edmund and martyr him all over again.

Keith Chapman, Bury St Edmunds