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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 16:46 GMT
Village sculpture 'pile of dung'
manure
If this manure came from a chicken - what about the beach balls?
Cambridgeshire villagers have chosen a 10,000 sculpture of dung to celebrate their industrial heritage.

In the 19th Century, miners in Bassingbourn dug up fossilised dung - or coprolite - for use as fertiliser.

The sculpture will consist of four bronze beach ball-sized dung globules on top of a 3ft-high brick plinth.

Parish council chairman Jack White said: "It's something that's highly original which will be sturdy and attract interest in the village."

South Cambridgeshire District Council invited villages in the area to come up with ways of celebrating their heritage through public art works.

Former woodwork teacher David Billings came up with the dung idea for Bassingbourn.

I think it's something that's highly original which will be sturdy and attract interest in the village
Jack White
Bassingbourn parish council

The council's arts development officer, Andy O'Hanlon, said: "We began the scheme in 2001 and I think David has come up with something that's highly unusual and has really caught the imagination."

The council is paying half the sculpture's cost and villagers have raised the rest of the money.

Mr White said the "imaginative" project had the support of Bassingbourn's residents.

"Coprolite mining was a thriving industry in this area in the 19th century and a lot of local people were involved.

"Other ideas were put forward - a heron sculpture, because herons were once common here, and a plane to commemorate the American bombers which flew from here during the Second World War.

But villagers preferred this. And I think it's something that's highly original which will be sturdy and attract interest in the village."

He said it was hoped the sculpture would be in place by Spring.


SEE ALSO:
'Bang' sculpture to be unveiled
12 Jan 05 |  Manchester
West light celebrated in tower
29 Dec 04 |  Somerset
Can dung power save the world?
22 Oct 04 |  Northern Ireland


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