By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Soane Museum head attacks public statues

The director of the Sir John Soane Museum in London has launched a startling attack on the sculptures and memorials sprouting up around the UK.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning, Tim Knox branded the current proliferation of statues in Britain’s public spaces a ‘multiplication of sentimental figurative work that is just not good enough’.

Knox, who was previously assistant curator of the RIBA’s drawing collection, was particularly stinging about the Unknown Construction Worker monument on Tower Hill in London.

‘Tower Hill is where great figures in British History have been executed, and we put a statue in memory of people who have died in industrial accidents,’ he said.

‘The problem is there is no longer the tuition in art schools, so not many people are confident with the human figure,' Knox added.

'On the one hand we have highly competent artists who are worth millions and the other group who get wheeled in to do public statues for £100,000.’

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Related images

The searchable digital buildings archive with drawings from more than 1,500 projects

AJ newsletters