A beehive sculpture in England, costing thousands of pounds, has literally been given the chop after town hall bosses allegedly said it looked ‘too rude’.
The artwork was intended to stand next to the children’s play area in Hyde park near Manchester. But just days after being unveiled, staff were ordered to take it down.
Award-winning sculptor Thompson Dagnall, who was paid around £3,500 for the work, says a Tameside council boss told him the design was too ‘phallic’.
Baffled Mr Dagnall, 56,said: “I think it’s ridiculous.
“It was a fair stretch of the imagination to have it as something phallic. I don’t think it looked phallic. It did take quite a long time. I find it a bit sad and a bit silly.”
Mr Dagnall had originally carved an intricate metal bee on a wooden orchid. But he says he was told the flower wasn’t realistic enough. So he replaced the orchid with the beehive – only, he says, to be told that it was too rude.
Now council workers have cut the beehive off the top of the sculpture and moved it – along with the bee – to a quieter area of the park. The stump of the sculpture is still standing.
Philip Fitzpatrick, chairman of Hyde district assembly, denied making the ‘phallic’ comment – but said he could not speak for his colleagues. He said the bee sculpture was just a project that ‘didn’t work out’.
Coun Fitzpatrick said: “I don’t think it’s phallic. He was not told that by me or any of the elected members – but there are thousands of people working for the council. We had a number of people who said it didn’t look like a beehive and that was the main problem because it was too far away. It’s not near the play area any more but it’s still there for the public. We do get value for money out of it and it’s a great success.”
But Coun John Bell, leader of Tameside’s Conservative party, said the decision was ‘crazy’.
He said: “I can’t see anything wrong with it. I just think it’s crazy that the council should spend £3,500 then take it down on someone’s whim.”
A council spokesman said: “The original sculpture of the metal bee was commissioned last year. The sculpture could not be properly enjoyed in its original location due to the density of the trees and has since been re-located. Its new siting on the wall next to the learning area and closer to the working beehives was seen as a natural home and more likely to be seen and enjoyed.”