20th Nov, 2018

Celebrated nymph sculpture will return to public display after years of storage

Felix Nobes 7th Jun, 2018 Updated: 7th Jun, 2018

A CELEBRATED sculpture of a nymph which once stood in one of Coventry’s prime locations will finally return to public display after being hidden away for years, a leading councillor says.

But its location is yet to be announced.

The Naiad statue – by an internationally renowned artist – was once placed in Earl Street Courtyard near the council house.

But it has been stored away for around a decade, despite the concerns of many campaigners.

Naiad is a bronze water nymph – a figure from Greek mythology – and was designed by city sculptor George Wagstaffe.

It is set to return to public view this summer at One Friargate – the council’s new tower block near the station – until a permanent location is decided.

Cabinet member for city services, Jayne Innes, tweeted: “Dear Coventry. This stunning lady is on her way back to public display.

“And I met her sculptor George Wagstaffe today – just the best afternoon.”

Campaigners are delighted by the news but want answers over a suitable location.

The nymph had been stored to protect it from theft and vandalism.

It was stored in Lady Herbert’s Garden’s Old Gate House before being moved to the council house.

Campaigners claim years of ‘poor storage’ could have damaged the much-loved sculpture.

Eastern Green resident and campaigner, Vincent Hammersley, said: “Although I, like many Coventry people, will be happy to see her back it raises the question about the poor guardianship of our public art.

“There are many missing artworks in this city and our city council must also answer for their condition and whereabouts.

“Of course, its original location in the Earl Street Courtyard – after this location has been restored – would be ideal.

“But this Grade II listed location is now owned by Coventry University.”

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