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New Naked Statue Is East Anglia’s Answer to Angel of the North

Yoxford was erected last November and is now one of the largest bronze sculptures in the UK (Pictures: East Anglia News Service)

A huge sculpture of a naked man ‘in all his glory’ has been dubbed ‘East Anglia’s answer to the Angel of the North’ after being put up next to the A12.

The statue was erected in Yoxford, near Aldeburgh in Suffolk last November after property billionaire Jon Hunt commissioned it for his luxury holiday retreat Wilderness Reserve.

It has divided locals, with some naming it ‘fantastic’ and others slamming it as ‘a grotesque monstrosity’.

The new artwork is one of the largest bronze sculptures in the UK – but the largest sculpture title is held by the Angel of the North, a contemporary sculpture in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, next to the A1.

Artist Laurence Edwards designed the new Yoxman statue for Cockfield Hall – a Grade One listed private house dating back to the 16th century.

He wanted his work to ‘reflect the gnarly bark of ancient oaks growing in the parkland around Yoxford’ with its arms likened to ‘oaken branches’.

Previous planning applications described it as: ‘A major landmark for the region – an attraction for tourists and locals seeking cultural and rural recreation and relaxation’.

The statue’s creator, Laurence Edwards, said Yoxman’s arms are supposed to resemble the oaken branches found in the area (Picture: East Anglia News Service)

Some locals are worried about drivers getting distracted by the naked statue seen in ‘all his glory’ (Picture: East Anglia News Service)

But some nearby residents are worried about the sculpture distracting drivers travelling on the A12.

One local posted on social media: ‘Seems a bit daft to put it by the A12, surely it’s a traffic hazard. Drivers looking at that and not the traffic, or where they’re going’.

Another dubbed it ‘a grotesque monstrosity’ and ‘a blot on the landscape’.

Yoxford Parish Council chairman Russell Pearce has disagreed with this, saying: ‘It has settled into the landscape quite well. I think it is fantastic, so I am biased.

‘Some people are negative and say they don’t like it and don’t see the point of it. But the number of people who stop in the lay-by to look at it is incredible.

‘I like the fact that you can see it as you drive past, and if you are in the High Street you can catch a glimpse of it in the gaps between houses.’

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Meanwhile, East Suffolk council said the statue would be ‘tantalising, serving as a beacon for what is possible in the region’ when the council approved the project.

Mr Edwards described his creation as ‘a wounded giant perhaps, contemplating the mystery of the lake in front of him, awed by landscape aware of his fragility, an appropriate message for our time’.

It is the latest addition to his private 8,000-acre estate on the Suffolk coast that he has transformed into an affluent staycation location.

The businessman, who co-founded London estate agents Foxtons, is said to be worth £1.345 billion and is the 126th richest person in the UK, according to last year’s Sunday Times Rich List.

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