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Controversial art given green light

Artist's impressions (above and below right) of both projects planned for Maidstone
Artist's impressions (above and below right) of both projects planned for Maidstone

AN ORANGE marble orb and a giant flashing needle are set to join the array of controversial art around Kent's county town, after councillors gave them the go ahead.

The two controversial pieces, part of Maidstone council's Elemental Arts Project, were approved by members of the council's own planning committee.

Morning Thoughts, a specially commissioned 6ft 6ins high orange and white marble sculpture, will be situated in the Rose Gardens at the back of the Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone.

Members gave approval for the sculpture, despite having reservations about landscaping to ensure it fitted with the gardens' secluded nature.

Chairman Cllr Richard Lusty (Con) added: "I actually don't like it. I am actually surprised we have paid money for it."

Members also agreed a 60ft, aluminium-clad needle, which will have flashing LED lights, to be situated next to the totem pole next to the Broadway Bridge.

The application had to be repositioned by 76 yards after it was found that there would be complications trying to avoid underground services, how close it was to the subway and planned road changes by Kent County Council.

Cllr Clive English (Lib Dem) said he wanted it noted that it was unsatisfactory that the original site had needed to be changed and should have been thought out better.

The town already has its fair share of controversial art, including the bronze totem pole and 21ft aluminium stag outside the Lockmeadow complex.

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