All around the world…

Katie on the Six

Last Friday (March 21) I published a post here about the City Council’s decision to issue an enforcement notice telling the owners of Charter House to remove the controversial statue of Prince Philip known as ‘the Don’.

I thought people would want to know that the statue, generally considered to be rather ugly, and installed on Hills Road without planning permission, was going.

It turns out people did want to know- several million of them, by my reckoning.

After Gemma Gardner picked up the story for the Cambridge Independent, quoting me from my blog it went up on their website, with a link, and my husband noticed that it had made the main section of the Guardian.

I then received calls and messages from the BBC’s culture reporter Noor Nanji. Even though I was in the City Council Planning Committee I headed over to the site during our lunch break and recorded an interview which was then broadcast on the Six O’Clock news on BBC One and on Radio Four.

After planning I had a look online, to find that this small story about an unwanted statue had spread around the world. There were dozens of reports, in the New York Times, ITV, Time magazine, even GB News (!), and they all quoted me. Many linked to this blog, which has seen more traffic in the last day than it had all year.

I’ve had relatives in Switzerland, old teachers from Hong Kong, and friends from around the world tell me they’ve spotted me.

And there’s been a lot on social media – perhaps my favourite was Ruth Dyermond who saw the story and said “One of the amazing things about the Prince Philip statue story is the discovery the Cambridge council has standards for public art. This will be a surprise to everyone who lives here“.

We do, Ruth, and we try to enforce them. I’m an architect and the state of public spaces really matters to me and to the council. In fact, we’re currently working on getting rid of some other unwanted pieces of art – keep an eye out for action.

(of course not everyone is happy.. it’s nice to be officially labelled a ‘woke leftie’ by the Daily Mail).

Coverage so far

And on Reddit..