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Diary: Giant Plymouth Hoe?

Artist impression of how Bianca will look in situ
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Plymouth has had its share of military action, but now a civil war is brewing in the city.

Tabard hears that a proposed statue to be erected outside the Theatre Royal – which will stand seven metres tall and nine metres wide (nothing too imposing then) – is causing a bit of unrest in the town.

Bianca, as the humongous statue has been named, will weigh in at 3,500kg and – wait for it – be illuminated at night. Like every giant statue should be, in Tabard’s opinion.

But some residents are none too happy with the proposed idea, especially because it means people will be able to walk between Bianca’s legs.

One resident complained that people “will have to walk through the outstretched and open legs of the statue of a female person… taking them underneath her private parts and posterior”.

Another, angry at the fact a tree was cut down to make way for the statue, said: “This whole vanity project to put up this statue of a prostitute is obscene and is now causing environmental damage.”

Wow. Plymouth people really don’t mince their words, do they? Turns out Bianca is actually based on the character in Othello – a courtesan. And sculptor Joseph Hillior thinks the figure has its place in society.

“Bianca wasn’t my only option, but it seemed right to address the lack of balance of women in public sculpture, as well as to address that failing in my own practice too,” he said.

Seems fair enough. He has put the leg work in.

Send stories to tabard@thestage.co.uk

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