Famous artwork could be placed on Peterborough city centre roofs

A mocked up image of how a sculpture could look in the city centre
A mocked up image of how a sculpture could look in the city centre
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Works of arts produced by the famous sculptor Sir Antony Gormley could soon decorate the city centre skyline under plans submitted to Peterborough City Council.

Three pieces of Gormley’s ‘The Place to Be’, which was originally bought by the Peterborough Development Corporation in 1984, will be placed on top of three buildings overlooking Cathedral Square should the plans be approved,

One of the sculpture pieces on display at Peterborough Cathedral

One of the sculpture pieces on display at Peterborough Cathedral

The proposed locations are Queensgate Shopping Centre, adjacent to Carluccio’s, Leeds Building Society and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society.

Gormley is best known for his Angel of the North sculpture in Gateshead.

Commenting on the proposal, Peterborough Civic Society said: “This is an iconic, accessible piece of art of international stature by the leading British sculptor of this time.

“The piece will bring national PR and put Peterborough on the map. It will be a conversation piece and have a positive effect for local businesses by giving tourists another reason to visit the city, and indeed bring visitors from far and wide.

“Evidence suggests that Gormley’s other pieces have been a boost for the local economy in the areas they are sited in, appropriate for Peterborough in the run up to the 900 year anniversary of Peterborough Cathedral.”

The sculptures show a figure with one arm shielding himself from the sun, a figure with arms outstretched and a striding figure with arms by its side.

The work of art is currently being repaired in London after it was vandalised when previously placed in Thorpe Meadows.

One of the arms of the sculpture which has both arms outstretched was snapped off and is being put back on. The planning application was submitted by Sheena Carman, arts development manager at Vivacity which manages arts and culture services in Peterborough.


Sir Antony Gormley’s The Place to Be was bought by the Peterborough Development Corporation in 1984.

However, the sculptures were damaged when put on display in Thorpe Meadows and put in storage before being taken to London for repairs.

One of the pieces was put on display in 2013 at Peterborough Cathedral.

Peterborough Civic Society said the three pieces were designed to be seen from a distance.

It said: “The sculptures have a smooth and even dark grey finish.

“Each piece is designed to encourage people to think about space and the context of space.

“The artist does not want them to be in the eye line of each other necessarily and not close together.

“The more clear skyline the better.”

The civic society added that a steel platform would be needed for the sculptures to go on the roofs, with each piece lifted by a crane and put into position.