Ancestor could be festival guest

The Ancestor

The Ancestor

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A HUGE sculpture that has become a familiar sight to the people of Amesbury could be rented out for festivals and events.

The Ancestor, a 22ft, sheet metal giant is currently undergoing anti-rust treatment but he is on the lookout for a new home.

The sculpture’s outstretched arms have been welcoming people to Amesbury from his vantage point at the side of the A303 for the last two years.

But Andy Rawlings, who created the six tonne sculpture with artist Michelle Topps, says he needs financial support to ensure the Ancestor can be enjoyed by more people in the future.

“We’re looking at all options just to cover the costs,” he said. “One idea is to rent him out for festivals such as Glastonbury and we are putting together a brochure. We know he gets a great reaction wherever he goes – his appearance at the summer solstice and Hudson’s Field in the summer proved that.

“The Ancestor could go on tour around lots of different events but it costs several hundred pounds to move him each time ,so we would need the organisers to meet that cost.”

Mr Rawlings is also hoping that funding will be found to move the Ancestor back into Amesbury.

“He could move back to outside the Holiday Inn, which has been a great location, or elsewhere in the town if a large enough site can be found,” he said. “However the issue, again, is the cost.”

Since the Ancestor was removed from the town for the anti -rust treatment, residents have raised concerns about his whereabouts.

A campaign to keep the Ancestor in Amesbury has been launched and it is hoped he will play a part in attracting more tourists to the town.

Schoolchildren have created crowns and flags to surround the sculpture and the artists say he has strong local support.

But the town council has so far been unable to offer funding to relocate the sculpture and does not have funds to buy it.

Last year the artists put the sculpture up for sale on eBay for £50,000 but no buyer could be found.

“This is terribly disappointing as we believe he has so much to offer the town,” said Mr Rawlings.

“We are very happy to speak to anyone about a fundraising initiative and are happy for him to return to Amesbury as he can be rented from there.

“Rental isn’t permanent, but it might give Amesbury time to catch up with us.”

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