Statue of Battle of Britain hero 'not modern enough' for Trafalgar Square

More than 2,500 people have written to Westminster Council demanding that the statue, by sculptor Les Johnson, be put up ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain next year.

However, council officials say the bronze effigy of the New Zealand-born airman would clash with the changing series of contemporary sculptures on the fourth plinth.
A planning report says that it would have an "adverse impact" on its surroundings because it is too representational and traditional.

It states: "The principle of creating a permanent memorial to Sir Keith Park is considered acceptable. His role in the defence of London, during the Battle of Britain, marks him out as a historic figure whose memory is worthy of commemoration."

But it adds: "The fourth plinth is regarded as a site ideally suited for the display of provocative contemporary art. It is considered, without in any way decrying the memory of Sir Keith or the concept of the proposed statue, that this proposal would not complement the current programme."
Councillors will decide on Thursday whether to accept the recommendation.

A long campaign to bring the statue to Trafalgar Square has been backed by the novelist Frederick Forsyth, General Sir Michael Rose, Air Chief Marshal Sir John Day and MPs including Nicholas Soames and Tony Benn.

The local authority is expected to allow another version of the piece to be installed permanently at Waterloo Gardens, in St James's.

Sir Keith fought in the First World War at Gallipoli and the Somme. In 1940 he was made Air Vice Marshal, in charge of No 11 Group RAF, responsible for the fighter defence of London and the south east of England.

SOURCE

But this statue isn't a problem and in a tribute Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called him "the greatest and most courageous leader of our generation."

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