A NEW statue will be built in Salisbury city centre to mark 800 years since the founding of the city’s cathedral after planner gave it the go-ahead – despite attracting mixed reviews.

Named ‘Turning Point’, the artistic piece is intended as a "marker of confidence", “reinforcing close links between the cathedral and the city”, applicant Salisbury City Council said.

It adds that, once built, it shall contribute to a "sense of optimism" for the future of the city.

Salisbury Journal:

Created and gifted to the city by sculptor John Maine, work to install the piece on the north-eastern corner of Guildhall Square is set to start imminently.

Planners at Wiltshire Council approved the plans on Monday.

As it is being gifted by Mr Maine, it is not known how much – if any – cash was spent by the city council on the piece.

But, as reported, the look of the statue received mixed reviews, with more than 50 people writing to the county authority to give their views.

Some criticised the look of the piece, while others said it "was not fit" for the proposed location.

Others, however, said it was "striking" and an "excellent way" to mark the 800th anniversary of the cathedral's founding.

Salisbury Journal:

Elaine Barker, of Old Sarum, said: "Not an appropriate sculpture for this historic city. We should be embracing the age and heritage of Salisbury , not trying to emulate other places.

Let’s not just erect any bit of stone, make it matter to our city, and the position of the proposed sculpture ruins the beautiful view of The Guildhall.

"This is more of a spoiler than an asset to Salisbury."

Louise Walters, from Amesbury, added: "The proposed statue is boring, plain and a waste of money, the location isn't great either.

"To invigorate Salisbury you need a bold, interactive and accessible idea (and it would be better to spend longer planning it so it has the desired effect)."

However, Linda Canning, from Salisbury, said: "This is a striking contemporary sculpture which is an excellent way to mark the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Cathedral, and city of Salisbury.

"[It] will be a great enhancement to the Guildhall Square."

In the supporting documents for the application, Mr Maine said: "I am proposing a new sculpture for the Market Square, intended as a ‘marker of confidence’, contributing to a sense of optimism in the future of Salisbury.

"This sculpture grows out of my sequence of vertical works, which began with the ten metre ‘Strata’ for the new town of Ryugasaki in Japan.

"Subsequently I have developed several forms of spires with a sense of rising movement.

"I see these as aspirational works and feel that this slender version ‘Turning Point’ is a further step forward."

‘Turning Point’ marks the passage of time, as its shadow encircles the base. At 4.2 metres high, the sculpture is built in seven courses of granite and shaped in the form of a spire.

The creation of the sculpture follows on from John Maine’s extensive exhibition in the Cathedral and throughout the Close and Sarum College in 2014. He has also exhibited drawings and small sculptures in the Young Gallery beside the Market Place.