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Soane Museum head attacks public statues

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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.’

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