Chichester sculpture given listed status

The Symbol of Discovery by John Skelton has been listed Grade II
The Symbol of Discovery by John Skelton has been listed Grade II

A statue which was built in Chichester in 1963 is among 41 sculptures around the country to be given listed status.

The Symbol of Discovery by John Skelton, located on the corner of East Row and Little London, is one of the post Second World War sculptures now under special protection.

The 41 sculptures, most listed at Grade II and some Grade II*, were designed to bring England’s public spaces back to life after the Second World War as the country began to repair its shattered towns and cities.

This art was created for everyone, to humanise and enrich streets, housing estates, work places, shopping centres, expanding universities and schools.

The Chichester sculpture has been listed Grade II, and is described by Historic England as a “powerful piece, a pair of large, rough-hewn slate hands emerge from the cobbled ground clasping a precious golden stone.

“The piece was designed as part of a restoration project which transformed nearby redundant buildings into a museum.

“It reflects the role of the museum as guardian as well as a place of discovery and learning.

“Skelton was from Glasgow but lived in Sussex for much of his life so his works have a strong local resonance.”

Among the sculptures to be listed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport today is an Anthony Gormley masterpiece in Camden, London, three Barbara Hepworth sculptures in London, a Henry Moore outside the Houses of Parliament and pieces depicting a range of themes from the power of electricity to the women’s peace movement in Northern Ireland.

The sculptures will feature in Historic England’s upcoming major exhibition on post-war public art: ‘Out There: Our Post-War Public Art’, taking place at Somerset House in London from February 3 to April 10.

Heritage Minster Tracey Crouch said: “It is only right that these fantastic pieces are listed. Not only are they magnificent sculptures but they are also an important part of our history, capturing the mood of Britain after WWII.”

Roger Bowdler, Director of Listing at Historic England said: “These sculptures were commissioned and created for everybody and have become a precious national collection of art which we can all share.

“They enrich our lives, bring art to everyone and deserve celebration.

“We have worked with the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association, Tate, and the Twentieth Century Society throughout this project to ensure our most special public art is protected and continues to enhance our public spaces.”

For more information on all 41 sculptures to be listed go to http://bit.ly/1StR7LK

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