Drunks force move of £250,000 St Cuthbert statue

The Journey by Fenwick Lawson in Millennium Place, Durham City.'It is planned to move the artwork to keep it away from late night drunkards.
The Journey by Fenwick Lawson in Millennium Place, Durham City.'It is planned to move the artwork to keep it away from late night drunkards.
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A PUBLICLY-funded artwork looks set to be uprooted in a bid to keep it away from late-night drunks.

Fenwick Lawson’s The Journey sculpture, which cost £250,000, honours the devoted monks who carried the body of St Cuthbert around the North of England for more than a century before stopping at what would become Durham in 995AD.

However, after just five years in Durham City’s Millennium Place, the artwork is expected to be relocated after trustees decided the site had failed as a cultural quarter and become a path for late-night drunken revellers heading to the Walkergate complex.

They have now voted to uproot the bronze and relocate it to outside Durham Cathedral, the Norman shrine where the real Cuthbert remains.

Mary Hawgood, vice-chairman of the trustees, said: “We were always told Millennium Place would become an arts centre.

“Then the Tourist Information Centre disappeared and it was left to late-nighters and drunks.

“When visitors see the statue, they’re puzzled. If we move it to the cathedral, that would be the end of the journey.”

Mr Lawson, an internationally renowned sculptor, said Millennium Place had become a “no man’s land” and that the cathedral location would be a “prime and most meaningful place” for the piece.

Based on an original wood sculpture kept on Holy Island, The Journey was officially unveiled by Princess Anne in 2008, funded through a two-year public campaign.

Mrs Hawgood said moving The Journey to the cathedral could be funded from money left over from the original appeal.

A spokeswoman for Durham Cathedral said it was considering the suggestion, but no decision had been made.