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astragal Bowled over

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Sir Jocelyn Stevens memorably described the proposed design for new war memorial gates at Hyde Park Corner as a 'world joke'. But we have heard little of a further planned addition to this major London site, where English Heritage is trying to maintain a semblance of dignity and decorum. This is unlikely to be helped by an extraordinary sculpture, known as 'Animals at War', which is supposed to be a reminder of the contribution made by our dumb friends to various military efforts. For reasons that have yet to become apparent, Peter Parker Bowles (Camilla's brother) is involved in this potential shambles. The fear is that the sculpture will end up looking like an advertisement for Fantasia. One observer says the only interesting thing about the work is 'whether the elephant's arse faces Buckingham Palace or the rest of London'. Animals have had a torrid time at this location. For many years a statue of the Duke of Wellington, sitting astride his beloved horse Copenhagen, graced the site. Decimus Burton was so offended by the work that he set up a trust fund whose sole purpose was to get it removed.

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