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Petition to axe Horsa landmark

PUBLISHED: 17:29 21 July 2010 | UPDATED: 11:49 23 August 2010

A petition has been launched against a 50 metre-high sculpture of a white horse after the estimated cost spiralled five times to £10million. Horsa, by Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Wallinger, was chosen as the winning design for The Ebbsfleet Landmark

A petition has been launched against a 50 metre-high sculpture of a white horse after the estimated cost spiralled five times to £10million.

Horsa, by Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Wallinger, was chosen as the winning design for The Ebbsfleet Landmark and was initially predicted to cost £2million.

But the new estimate from organisers at the Ebbsfleet Landmark Project (ELP) now rolls in at £10million and residents have responded by launching a petition asking Gravesham Borough Council to retract planning permission.

Rebecca Storey, of Oakfield Park Road, Wilmington, signed the petition on Monday. She said: "This statue is both a hideous eyesore and a waste of money in a time where people are having to

make so many cuts.

"It will make Kent a laughing stock - its hardly on the same level as The Angel of the North as something iconic and innovative and it doesn't fit in with the image of Kent.

"The Invicta Flag doesn't have a picture of a horse standing on all fours, it's rearing up, majestically. It is ridiculous, there were so many better designs submitted, this one is a far too literal and obvious interpretation."

Horsa will measure 50 metres tall and 56.9 metres long and will overlook the A2 from Ebbsfleet

Valley.

An ELP spokesperson said the rise in the estimate was because they were not aware 'of the exact technical challenges' until recently.

They have not secured the additional £8million and say their immediate aim is to try and find sponsors.

Mr Wallinger is one of Britain's foremost contemporary artists, having produced Ecce Homo, the

first sculpture to occupy the empty fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square in 1999.

Horsa was chosen from a shortlist of internationally renowned artists featuring Daniel Buren, Richard Deacon, Christopher Le Brun and Rachel Whiteread.

The Times contacted Mr Wallinger a number of times but he was not available for comment.

* To sign the petition launched by Edward Prangnell, visit www.gopetition.com/petitions/no-white-horse-statue-in-kent.html.

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