A giant wooden chair sculpture which overlooks Dartmoor was dismantled today – because it was too popular.
The huge 20ft (6m) oak seat – called The Giant’s Chair – was built in 2006 by artist Henry Bruce who wanted to create his version of the ‘Angel of the North’ on his remote farm.
But the distinctive sculpture soon became a popular tourist attraction and brought an influx of traffic into the area.
Locals complained and yesterday it was dismantled by the Dartmoor National Park Authority – because it didn’t have planning permission.
Speaking shortly after it was removed, Henry said he was ”gutted” by the decision to remove it – but hoped to find a new site.
He said: ”This is a sad day for the chair. I’m gutted it has been removed but I knew this day would come.
”It’s a real shame as the chair is a sculpture that has brought a lot of joy to a great many people.
”I don’t fully agree with the reasons behind its removal but I’m hopeful an alternative venue can be found.
”Until then it will be dismantled and stored.
”It will be very difficult to find a site which affords onlookers the same chance to view the stunning landscape which surrounds it.”
The chair was erected on Henry’s farm in Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Devon, as part of a project to ”give people the opportunity to engage with their local landscape”.
But the following year there was a huge public outcry from locals who claimed it had led to an increase in traffic as passers-by stopped to gawp.
It was given a two-year stay of execution, which expired in March when a retrospective planning application was lodged.
This failed, and yesterday a team of expert carpenters were drafted in to dismantle the unique sculpture, which will now be stored on private land until an alternative site is found.
Colin Jarvis of Dartmoor National Park said the structure was a victim of its own success.
He said: ”Many members of the park authority in fact expressed their support for it and its inspiration.
”But it was the fact that it had become an attraction and a destination in its own right, giving rise to these highways problems, that meant it was not appropriate to continue it in that location.”
More than 6,000 people had joined a ‘Save the Giant’s Chair on Dartmoor’ Facebook campaign pleading for it not to be removed.
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