Published: 06:00, 08 January 2012
The battle to keep the iconic Antony Gormley boulders in Ashford has been lost.
Kent County Council has confirmed plans to relocate the sculptures - created by the leading sculptor - from Ashford to Maidstone.
The nine-tonne rocks had been sited at Singleton Lake, near Ashford, for about 30 years.
But after suffering vandalism, KCC removed the sculptures - Mr Gormley’s first professional commission - to undergo restoration work.
KCC project manager Matt Hyland confirmed what many feared.
Mr Hyland said: “KCC is proud to have commissioned Antony Gormley’s first work and is working with him to ensure that it achieves the new location and prominence that this seminal work deserves.
“The Gormley sculpture is a unique and increasingly valuable asset to KCC.
“But the extensive vandalism and increasing value has changed the context of where and how the sculpture can be displayed in the future.
“A new highly prominent and carefully chosen secure location has become critical to the project; to guarantee its future general safety.
“And the agreed Maidstone location provides the overall and unrivalled solution."
More by this authorDanny Boyle