Sculpture request for Furness Abbey will be considered

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A APPLICATION that would see a statue of a famous Cumbrian businessman erected in an abbey in South Cumbria has been recommended to the Borough Council’s Planning Committee for approval.

The plan would see a life-size sculpture of Sir John Laing sitting on a pew brought into Furness Abbey.

It is at the historic site of Barrow that Sir John, born in 1879, once prayed for his company in times of crisis.

CONTEMPLATIVE: A sketch of the sculpture on the bench. Image: Barrow Borough Council Planning Portal

His business continued to thrive and the businessman reportedly felt “forever indebted” to the abbey.

The bronze sculpture, placed on a wooden bench, would be located with its back to the railway tracks in an area north of the main abbey.

READ MORE: Efforts to erect statue of famous businessman at Abbey

Case officer Maureen Smith, in a report produced ahead of a meeting of the borough council’s planning committee on Tuesday, acknowledged that art installations were “generally divisive” because of their “subjective nature.”

However, she concluded that the sculpture was of ‘modest proportions’ and ‘sensitively situated to mitigate any damage to heritage assets’.

She recommended David Laing’s application to the committee for approval.

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