A sculpture that used to hang on the Kennedy Way shopping precinct in Immingham is claimed to be “safely stored” outside a nearby depot, decaying covered in vegetation.
North East Lincolnshire Council says the storage area is not a tip, as it became apparent from photos shared by surprised residents on Facebook.
The artwork is thought to be called ‘The Growing Family of Immingham’ and was allegedly established in the 1960s when the shopping precinct was built. Residents claim that it was moved in October 2019 before making way for a new £50,000 Forging Forward monument.
A North East Lincolnshire Council spokesperson said: “The artwork is safely stored at our Gilbey Road depot. It’s a piece that takes up a lot of room and has been placed in an area where it won’t be damaged.”
This area is outdoor, as the artwork had to be moved out due to its size. Vegetation is covering the decaying sculpture, as it is exposed to the elements.
There have been a mixture of responses to the artwork by residents on Facebook:
Sarah McCabe said: “We should demand it back, it should be in Immingham museum, we’ve got all this other expensive art around the civic, I’d like to see it, it’s part of Immingham history.”
However, Hank Rawlin said: “Sorry, always hated that ugly piece and was pleased to see it removed. I see no beauty in it at all.”
David Watson, Labour councillor for the Immingham ward said: “If my memory serves me right that’s only half of the statue. If a location in Immingham could be found it would be good to have it back.
“The problem is that it is very big and made from fibreglass. It has to be placed against something, as there isn’t a back on it. I have no idea where it could go.”
Elaine Norton from One Voice Community Group told BBC Look North on Tuesday evening: “I think it represents what the town used to be like and what it is now, so that’s why I personally think it would be really good for it to be relocated. It’s an important part of our history.
“So many people have got memories and connect with it in a different way, whether it be because they love it or they hate it, it’s irrelevant.”