The sculpture was previously described by a council planner to be “possibly the poorest quality work”Nick James for Varsity

A campaign to keep the 13ft “Cambridge Don” statue has begun, after it was ordered to be removed in March.

The statue, which represents Prince Phillip’s time as Chancellor of the University, was installed without planning permission 10 years ago. This triggered a dispute which led the Council to order its removal.

The 4-metre statue of the late Prince is currently displayed outside an office block. He is depicted wearing a graduation cap and academic robes.

Unex, the company that commissioned the statue, has appealed against the statue’s removal and said it wanted permission to keep the sculpture where it is.

In the notice ordering its removal, the city council said: “The unauthorised development, by reason of its scale, height and prominent location, has a harmful material impact on the visual amenity of the wider townscape and the New Town and Glisson Road Conservation Area.”

They also claimed that there were no public benefits that outweigh the sculpture’s removal, as it did not fulfil the criteria to be classed as “successful and high-quality public art”.

The sculpture was previously described by a council planner to be “possibly the poorest quality work,” with one art critic labelling it as “detritus masquerading as public art”.


Mountain View

Council orders removal of ‘poorest quality’ Prince Philip statue

No artist has claimed credit for creating the statue. The Unex Group, who commissioned the work, stated that the sculpture was made by the Uruguayan artist Pablo Atchugarry. When questioned, the artist declared it was “an abuse” to suggest he sculpted it.

Bill Gredley, chair of the Unex Group, came to the work’s defence and called it a “spectacular piece of art”.

An inquiry by the planning agency will consider the Unex appeal at a later date.