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Talking statues in Norwich vandalised in ‘miserable act’

PUBLISHED: 17:54 01 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:40 06 November 2018

The Peace statue, at the junction of Agricultural Hall Plain and Castle Meadow, Norwich. Photo: Talking Statues

The Peace statue, at the junction of Agricultural Hall Plain and Castle Meadow, Norwich. Photo: Talking Statues

Nick Stone

A memorial which commemorates the lives of more than 300 Norfolk men who died in Boer War is amongst the talking statues in Norwich which have been vandalised.

Thomas Browne, in the Haymarket - written by George Szirtes (bottom left) and voiced by Adam Buxton. Photos: Talking Statues / Antony Kelly / LibraryThomas Browne, in the Haymarket - written by George Szirtes (bottom left) and voiced by Adam Buxton. Photos: Talking Statues / Antony Kelly / Library

The peace statue located at the Agricultural Plain and Castle Meadow junction is one of 10 city statues which have had their stories bought to life by as part of the Talking Statues art project.

Designed by Sing London the project was bought to Norwich by local production company Creative Nation in September with the help of partner organisations across the city.

But the Peace memorial, William Kempe in Chapelfield Gardens and the Amelia Opie statue in Opie Street have all had plaques removed meaning people are unable to listen to the statues’ stories.

Thomas Browne in the Haymarket has also had it’s plague removed although it has since been replaced.

Will Kempe, in Chapelfield Gardens, - written and voiced by Luke Wright. Photos: Talking Statues / Nick ButcherWill Kempe, in Chapelfield Gardens, - written and voiced by Luke Wright. Photos: Talking Statues / Nick Butcher

Alice Whitney, the talking statues project director said it was a “miserable” thing for someone to have done.

“These plaques are made of a special material so they’re really hard to remove. I’ve had them on pavements in London for seven years, it’s not easy to remove them.”

She said that the team behind the project had been told about the vandalism by families who had gone out to complete the trail but had been unable to because of the missing plaques.

“It’s a miserable thing to do, it’s an art project and the more we have to spend on replacing them the less money we have to spend on other stuff.

“It costs around £100 to replace a plaque each time, they are made of a special material so it’s not cheap and they have to be applied by a specialist.”

Featuring the voices of some of Norwich’s most celebrated writers and actors, alongside emerging local talent, Ms Whitney said the project had been a massive undertaking by all those involved.

“We produced it as a show case for Norwich, about the city and its history.

“I would just like to say, be mindful this is an art project, and it’s spoiling everybody’s fun. It really was a gift to celebrate Norwich, to showcase everything that is here,”

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