Iconic sculpture to be temporarily removed from Peterborough landscape 

Nene Park Trust has confirmed that the Peterborough Arch sculpture located in Thorpe Meadows will be temporary removed to allow conservators to inspect the sculpture. The impressive large-scale sculpture by artist Lee Grandjean has been enjoyed by drivers along Longthorpe Parkway and visitors to Thorpe Meadows since 1988 and provides a unique landmark on the western approach to the city.  

The work was carved from Iroko wood and pegged together. Unfortunately, after 34 years of exposure to the elements, the sculpture is in need of urgent attention. Once the extent of the works is known, Nene Park Trust will fundraise to ensure this well-known sculpture is not lost from the city.  

Matthew Bradbury, Chief Executive at of Nene Park Trust said, 

“We are proud to host Peterborough Arch within Nene Park. The sculpture is an iconic landmark in Peterborough and represents the important role that the city and our beautiful greenspaces have played and continue to play in welcoming new communities to the city. We are hopeful that the sculpture can be reinstated next year after some much-needed care and attention”.  

“As a charity we are anticipating that we will need significant public support to ensure this important landmark can be re-installed. Once we know the extent of the works required we will be looking at how we can generate the funds needed to return this much loved sculpture to the city.”

Lee Grandjean selected the site for the Peterborough Arch aligning it with the city centre and the cathedral. The linear shapes represent the architecture of the city and the organic shapes represent the greenspace and landscape that residents enjoy.  

The Sculpture is part of the Peterborough Sculpture Collection that was established by Peterborough Development Corporation during the development of Peterborough as a New Town. During the 1970s and 80s Peterborough Development Corporation bought and commissioned new artworks by some of the best British sculptors working at the time. They selected artworks that linked with the architectural style and planning of Peterborough and created a collection that reflected the diverse subject matter and practice of British sculptors creating new work at that time. The aim was to create a culturally rich city and a reference point in time for future generations. The Collection currently comprises of thirty sculptures including important works by Anthony Gormley and Anthony Caro.  

Nene Park Trust took over the management of the Peterborough Sculpture Collection in December 2020 and has received funding from Arts Council England to carry out conservation works on the sculptures at Thorpe Meadows Sculpture Trail, install information and signage and run creative workshops. 

The artist Lee Grandjean was born in 1949. He grew up in Harlow, Essex and studied at the North East Polytechnic and Winchester School of Art. He was Deputy Head of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London and has exhibited nationally and internationally. He currently lives and works from his studio in Norfolk. 

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