‘MK Gallery cannot take our famous sculpture’

Art lovers in Bletchley are seeing red over MK Gallery’s plans to uproot the town’s famous crimson steel scupture.

The massive structure was designed by Bernard Schottlander and has stood in Sherwood Drive for 43 years.

Called ‘2MS Series No 1’, it is one of only two sculptures in MK to be listed by Historic England.

MK Gallery bosses want to move it to City Club, the display area to be sited adjacant to the gallery’s long-awaited extension.

It is understood there are no plans for them to pay anything for the sculpture, which is officially owned by the company that occupies Challenge House.

“We don’t think it should leave Bletchley. It belongs here,” said Ian Mitchie, who is chair of the city’s Public Arts Trust.

“MK Gallery is looking to get a great sculpture for free. We would much rather they commission their own scuplture if they want one.”

Meanwhile Historic England expert Dr Elain Harwood said: “I personally think it would be most regrettable to move a listed sculpture from the site dedicated to it.”

She added: “I also think that Bletchley seems to outsiders like me to be the poor relation of Milton Keynes, artistically, and that it deserves its own listed sculpture.”

West Bletchley Town Council has now agreed to hold a public consultation to gauge residents’ opinions.

Meanwhile a gallery spokesman said: “‘MK Gallery looks forward to working with West Bletchley Town Council on this consultation and hearing residents thoughts.”