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Controversial Queen Elizabeth II monument needs donors

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A monumental work honoring Queen Elizabeth II located on the remote moors of Northumberland in northeast England has come closer to a call for donors. The proposed work Ascendant: Elizabeth’s landmark by sculptor Simon Hitchens, is three times the size of Antony Gormley’s towering tower Angel of the North (1998).

According to the project’s website, “The vision behind the project is that of Viscount and Viscountess Devonport, owners of the Ray Estate, who have donated just under 25 acres around Cold Law Hill on which the landmark is to to be built”.

The statement adds: “Together with their associates, they have assembled a first-class project team; funded the project competition; financed the development, design and professional costs leading to the granting of the planning permit; this represents a committed prior investment of over £300,000 to date. Other benefactors are now being sought for the program (an official fundraising campaign will be launched later this year).

The piece will consist of a thin point of metal protruding from the ground; a footbridge built into the hillside will allow visitors to walk under the vast structure. “The weathered steel sculpture has 96 side fins, one for each year of Queen Elizabeth II’s life,” the project statement reads.

“The sculpture looks like the hill below; it is a puzzle perfectly suited to the topography of this unique hill,” Hitchens previously told us. The works won planning approval by the UK Government’s Planning Inspectorate in 2021.

The work was initially controversial. A local campaign group known as Keep the Wannies Wild opposed the public artwork, stating on its Facebook page that its members “believe Cold Law is not an appropriate place for a piece of artwork. of art as invasive and industrial”.

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