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‘Disgusting’ - controversial metal trees left in weeds

PUBLISHED: 16:28 02 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:55 02 October 2020

James Sheen said it was

James Sheen said it was "appalling" the metal trees, originally at the Arc in Bury St Edmunds, were being stored like this by West Suffolk Council Picture: JAMES SHEEN

JAMES SHEEN

Controversial metal tree sculptures that were removed from a town centre have been spotted left in weeds outdoors at a plant nursery.

The metal trees in St Andrew's Street South, Bury St Edmunds, were paid for by Arc developer money for public art Picture: GREGG BROWNThe metal trees in St Andrew's Street South, Bury St Edmunds, were paid for by Arc developer money for public art Picture: GREGG BROWN

The artwork by local sculptor Nigel Kaines had been located next to the Arc shopping centre on St Andrew’s Street South in Bury St Edmunds and cost in the region of £15,000 to £20,000, paid for by Arc developer funding.

But the two trees were removed in 2016 after they were struck a number of times by vehicles coming along the road.

MORE: Controversial metal trees removed in Bury St Edmunds after another hit by a vehicle

It was understood the artwork was being kept in storage by West Suffolk Council while alternative locations were sought to display them.

But yesterday James Sheen, founder of the We Love Bury St Edmunds Facebook group, discovered the metal trees at Nowton Park Nursery, on the site of Nowton Park, after someone gave him “the heads-up”.

The metal trees being lifted out from their location by the Arc in 2016 Picture: ARCHANTThe metal trees being lifted out from their location by the Arc in 2016 Picture: ARCHANT

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Laying on their sides on West Suffolk Council land, the sculptures had real leaves growing out of them.

MORE: Bury St Edmunds metal tree resembles a dandelion blowing in the wind

Mr Sheen said the situation was “absolutely appalling”.

“They were literally just lying down on the wall - I couldn’t believe it. I was given a tip-off yesterday. It’s absolutely disgusting,” he said.

Mr Sheen questioned why it was taking years for the council to find a suitable location for the pieces.

MORE: Criticisms of Bury St Edmunds metal trees scheme - delayed by nine months - spark row at meeting

A West Suffolk Council spokesperson said: “The metal trees, which were paid for by the developers of the Arc are made of stainless steel which means they don’t rust.

“Following their repair, they have been stored while we looked at where they could be installed near the Arc, which is privately owned or at an alternative prominent public location where they won’t be damaged and which is capable of having significant foundations to bear the weight. We are still looking at possible solutions.”


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