COUN Rachael Roberts is quite right to question the issue of the cost that the Harry Hotspur statue will entail to the residents of Alnwick.
This should have been considered before it was commissioned by the development trust as the cost of insurance and repair is generally added to the cost of any public statue before planning and other permissions are sought to prevent situations like this arising.
Harry Hotspur was a vandal trained to kill and maim from an early age and apparently very good at it if legend is to be believed.
If you were stood opposite him under his raised sword it would evoke fear and terror.
The emotive response this statue has is one of mediocre curiosity and it does not adequately reflect the town’s history and heritage.
There are residents of Alnwick whose ancestors could have been killed by Harry Hotspur and his relatives or left to rot in the castle dungeon.
Does this statue reflect the history of violence and political power struggles that formed the castle, the town, ordinary people’s lives, or does it give a neat and sanitised version?
Alnwick has lost a chance to really say something about its place as a border town and its turbulent history.
A more emotive statue could have been made by simply putting the original-sized maquette on the top of a huge rock. That at least would have conveyed an idea about the futility of war or the smallness of humans in relation to the power of nature.
When the statue consultation took place at the Northumberland Hall, the artist said that he had been asked to produce a model, not a work of art.
Any non-functional object placed in a public space is a work of art and as such needs to have a succession plan of maintenance.
The choice the council now have is either to sell this statue, or to adopt it.
Either way they need to know what the cost of both would be before a decision can be made on our behalf.
Another question for them to consider – is the statue sited on the Northumberland Estates land or ours?
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