Petition launched to get 'unsettling' Antony Gormley statue removed from UEA library roof
PUBLISHED: 09:27 16 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:27 16 April 2017
A petition has been launched to get a controversial statue removed from a university campus due to connotations of suicide "at a time of intense stress for students".
The University of East Anglia has faced criticism this week after Antony Gormley’s latest installation involved a human statue being placed on the roof of the library.
MORE: UEA faces backlash over ‘tactless’ decision to put Antony Gormley’s human statue on the roof of library
Following criticism that it could be a trigger to people suffering mental health issues, a petition has been set up to ‘take the Antony Gormley statue off the library roof.’
The petition states: “In a sudden and unsettling move, UEA has decided - at a time of intense stress for students with exams and dissertation work - to stick up a statue of a person standing right on the edge of the library roof.
“Some students have said that this makes them uncomfortable, as from first glance it looks as if a human being is about to jump off the building. Many students will not be aware of the statue and so to suddenly impose this on them during an already stressful period is unfair.
“This petition requests that UEA remove the statue and stop stressing students out with the constant image of someone who looks like they are about to take their own life.”
Alison Mcnair commented on the petition: “Rather than promote understanding of mental health, it could give people ideas when stressed/depressed around exam season. Please place the statue in a more appropriate place.”
MORE: Antony Gormley’s rooftop sculpture at UEA is offensive, clumsy and dangerous
But the debate has sparked comment on both sides, and a counter-petition has been set up - ‘Keep the Anthony Gormley Statue on the Library roof’.
Jon English from Sheringham said on Facebook: “Next we’ll be taking Nelson of his column... Just because something challenges your perceptions you don’t need to be outraged by it. Be outraged by something worthy of your outrage.”
A spokesman for UEA defended the work, which is part of a Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts project involving three Gormley sculptures, saying they were “thought-provoking and offer both spectacle and surprise”.
Gormley’s most famous works includes the Angel of the North in Gateshead and Another Place on Crosby Beach in Liverpool.