'Thor would approve' - 33m iron sculpture gets green light for Norwich stay

Photomontage image of how Anthony Caro's Goodwood Steps could look on the UEA campus

Photomontage image of how Anthony Caro's Goodwood Steps could look on the UEA campus - Credit: SCVA

An iron sculpture designed by a world-renowned artist has been heralded as "a great accolade for Norwich" ahead of its arrival at the Sainsbury's Centre for Visual Arts.

Despite its name suggesting otherwise, The Goodwood Steps is a 33m wide iron sculpture designed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Sir Anthony Caro.

Sir Anthony Caro, one of the world's leading sculptors, who celebrates his eightieth birthday. To ma

Sir Anthony Caro, one of the world's leading sculptors, who celebrates his eightieth birthday. To mark the occasion, Sir Anthony's 1962 work 'Sculpture Two' has been installed in the garden at Tate Britain. The work will be on display until 9th May and next year will form part of the major retrospective of Caro's work, which opens at the gallery on 26th January 2005. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Previously displayed in a sculpture park in West Sussex, it will soon have a temporary home in the grounds of the University of East Anglia, overlooking the Broad close to the Sainsbury's Centre.

Some concern had been raised over whether its proposed position was appropriate, but on Thursday Norwich City Council's planning committee gave near-unanimous support for its proposed siting.

Just one member, Green Party councillor Paul Neale, voted against the artwork, with other councillors speaking highly of the prospect of Norwich hosting the sculpture.

Green city councillor Paul Neale. Picture: Norwich City Council

Green city councillor Paul Neale. Picture: Norwich City Council - Credit: Norwich City Council

Echoing the worries of the Yare Valley Society, Mr Neale said: "Putting it right in the middle of the beautiful panoramic view across the natural area of the Yare Valley, I think, is totally the wrong place."

But Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat councillor for the Eaton ward, said: "While I respect the worries of the Yare Valley, it is a temporary structure and this gives people the chance to assess it.

Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat city councillor for Eaton. Pic: Sonya Duncan.

Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat city councillor for Eaton. Pic: Sonya Duncan. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

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"This is a great accolade for Norwich, to have this internationally-renowned sculptor's work on the sculpture park. I think it's very, very welcome."

Labour councillor Jane Sarmezey added: "I am a huge fan of using outdoor spaces in this way and I think it really helps to put Norwich on the map.

"Let's put it in, let's see how it goes, and if pigeons nestle there I am sure plans are there to keep it maintained."

And paying tribute to the SCVA's history as a filming location for the Avengers film, fellow Labour councillor Mike Sands added: "I am certain Thor the other Avengers would approve seeing as their headquarters are so nearby."

The sculpture is planned to be in place on the campus for three years, though the committee granted permission for a five-year stint to allow for preparations for its arrival to be made.

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