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Warhorse sculpture could get new home

'War Horse' that had been spotted around Norfolk. Picture: ANDREW STONE

'War Horse' that had been spotted around Norfolk. Picture: ANDREW STONE

Archant

The future of an eye-catching horse sculpture that stood on a number of roundabouts near Norwich is set to be decided this week.

Damian O'Connor's War Horse sculpture which has been placed at a number of Norfolk roundabouts. Picture: Damian O'ConnorDamian O'Connor's War Horse sculpture which has been placed at a number of Norfolk roundabouts. Picture: Damian O'Connor

The War Horse sculpture has been absent from the Broadland Northway for five weeks after artist Damian O’Connor removed the sculpture in December after being told to do so by a police officer.

On Friday, Mr O’Connor, from Taverham, is meeting with Chris Alston, manager of Norfolk County Council highways department, to find a spot for the horse.

Mr O’Connor said: “I hope there is an agreement to allow me to continue placing it on roundabouts, safely at night, as I have for more than a year.

“Surprise placements in the centre of huge roundabouts adds to the life-like character of ‘roaming horse’ and ‘Oh look’ seems a popular aspect of appreciation.

'War Horse' which had been spotted around Norfolk. Picture: ANDREW STONE'War Horse' which had been spotted around Norfolk. Picture: ANDREW STONE

“Ascot and Newmarket both have great horse statues on roundabouts and Norfolk also has a long, proud and beloved equine heritage.”

War Horse, a 10ft high horse made of steel, wood and reeds, was last seen at around 3am on Saturday, December 29, on the Aylsham Road roundabout.

It is now in the garden of the artist near Taverham Garden Centre. The sculpture has been moved to various roundabouts on the road about 20 times in the last year.

The artist added: “I am delighted art has triggered a public reaction. Art enriches life in so many ways, that much we all agree, even in these politically diverse times. Interestingly, my removal of the horse has triggered way more publicity than its presence did over the last 14 months.

Damian O'Connor's War Horse sculpture which has been placed at a number of Norfolk roundabouts. Picture: Damian O'ConnorDamian O'Connor's War Horse sculpture which has been placed at a number of Norfolk roundabouts. Picture: Damian O'Connor

“The public reaction makes me feel totally amazed. I hear opinions from all ages and it means something different to everyone.”

Mr O’Conner said that the Aylsham Road roundabout was the best spot for the horse due to how it was silhouetted against the skyline.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: “We share Mr O’Connor’s aspiration to exhibit his sculpture. This needs to be done in a safe manner if it’s going to be displayed on a highway verge. We are open to looking into this further and are happy to be meeting with Mr O’Connor to discuss this.”

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