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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 May, 2003, 05:38 GMT 06:38 UK
Hirst plans sculpture for East End
Damien Hirst
Damien Hirst is one of the UK's most popular artists
Artist Damien Hirst is planning to reinvent an iconic charity symbol as a 22 foot sculpture for London's East End.

Planning permission for a six-tonne bronze statue outside the White Cube gallery in Hoxton Square has been sought from Hackney Council.

'Charity' would be Hirst's largest sculpture and would coincide with an exhibition of his work at the gallery in September and October.

It is based on the little girl clutching a teddy bear and holding out a collection box for Scope - then called the Spastics Society - seen on Britain's streets in the 1960s and 1970s.

But the little girl's collection tin will be smashed by robbers in the scultpure.

The application from the gallery says the piece would show a "dejected and vulnerable image" and challenge the classical "idealised figure".

It reads: "Charity is the largest sculpture Damien has made and on this scale it is monumental yet vulnerable."

Dolls removed after complaints

The dolls were removed in the 1980s after complaints from many cerebral palsy sufferers that they were offensive.

A Scope spokesman said: "We are aware of this particular work but cannot comment on it as we have not seen it.

"With regards to the collection dolls, they are a part of Scope's history and are well known - although outdated.

"Scope now concentrates on positive portrayals of disabled people and uses imagery which more accurately reflects disabled people's lives."

Hirst has worked with the charity before.

In February he donated a painting from his Gorgeous Concentric series for auction and raised 90,000 at Sothebys for Scope.

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