Peterborough the Place To Be as statues from world famous sculptor decorate the city centre skyline

0
Have your say

Peterborough has become the Place To Be as statues from world famous sculptor Antony Gormley were put onto the roofs of three buildings to create a fabulous vision in the city centre.

Mr Gormley was delighted to return to the city today and see his famous Places to Be taking pride of place on top of Queensgate Shopping Centre, adjacent to Carluccio’s, Leeds Building Society and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society.

Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich and Vivacity director of culture Richard Hunt next to one of the sculptures on top of the Leeds Building Society building

Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich and Vivacity director of culture Richard Hunt next to one of the sculptures on top of the Leeds Building Society building

The sculptor - best known for his Angel of the North sculpture in Gateshead - admitted he was "humbled and honoured" to see his work displayed so prominently in the heart of the city.

"For me this is a great day - I'm really, really excited" he said. "You can just imagine a young child growing up with these things asking mum 'what is that man up there doing?'

"It requires people to project on to them their own feelings. It has to be defined by every individual."

The statues went up overnight on Thursday to be fully on display to the public from this morning.

Mr Gormley has been visiting Peterborough since 1984 when the works of art were first bought by the Peterborough Development Corporation, and he marvelled at the city centre's transformation over the past three decades.

"What's happened here in Cathedral Square is extraordinary," he said. "This is the third installation of Places to Be and third time lucky."

The lifesize sculptures show a figure with one arm shielding himself from the sun, a figure with arms outstretched (Mr Gormley's favourite) and a striding figure with arms by its side which many described as projecting energy.

The works were made from sheet lead on fibreglass. They were previously situated in Monkstone House offices before being moved to Thorpe Meadows where vandalism left the statue with the arms outstretched armless and needing to be repaired.

Dignitaries from across Peterborough, including Mr Gormley, attended the launch event by Vivacity for Places to Be at St John the Baptist church in Cathedral Square today.

The famous sculptor, who was approached by Vivacity about putting his statues on the roofs, described his delight at seeing the works being placed so prominent on display in the city centre.

Director of culture at Vivacity Richard Hunt said: "Vivacity is immensely proud to be involved in this work. It's a really exciting time for arts in Peterborough."