Bognor sun sculpture will stay

THE Bognor Regis sun sculpture will not be moved.

The decision not to move the 7m-high structure from its current location at the junction of High Street and the London Road precinct was taken by the town council’s environment and leisure committee.

Committee chairman Jennifer Gillibrand said: “In the current economic climate it would not be possible for us to move the sculpture.

“We will revisit the idea at forthcoming meetings when we get detailed information on costs.”

Instead of relocating the artwork, several ideas on how to make better use of the structure were raised.

Cllr Jason Passingham said: “If we could just place the sculpture in some sort of context then people would appreciate it more.

“If we could place a plaque on it saying what it is and why it’s there people would understand its purpose. I’ve found once you tell people what it actually is, they say actually it’s not that bad.

“I have personally seen it from different angles and it can look fab.”

Cllr Passingham also suggested moving two planters from London Road to either side of the sculpture, which could create a more aesthetically-pleasing look.

The renewed call for the sculpture to be moved was made last June by deputy town mayor Jim Brooks, who said the structure failed to benefit the town.

At Monday’s meeting Cllr Brooks said: “The statue is gaudy and it’s beginning to look tired.

“We need something classy for the town, and in my opinion this thing does not do the town any good at all.

“People do not know what it is supposed to be. It would be ideal to move it to the seafront as it would put it in context.”

The statue was unveiled by sculptor Pete Codling in March 2008. He devised the structure, with its 1.5m-diameter sphere, to reflect Bognor’s status as Britain’s sunniest mainland town.

Bognor Regis regeneration task force co-ordinator, Richard McMann, said: “One man’s class is another man’s junk, and one man’s junk is another man’s class.

“Some people like the sculpture and some don’t.

“The sun sculpture is recognised for its artistic merit, but that does not mean it is right or wrong. What people think is their own opinion.”