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Artist falls ‘foal’ of police as War Horse sculpture is removed

PUBLISHED: 16:02 03 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:21 04 January 2019

Damian O'Connor's War Horse sculpture which had been placed at a number of Norfolk roundabouts. Picture: Damian O'Connor

Damian O'Connor's War Horse sculpture which had been placed at a number of Norfolk roundabouts. Picture: Damian O'Connor

Archant

A horse sculpture that has stood on the Broadland Northway for more than a year has been removed after the artist was spotted by a police officer while moving the artwork.

War Horse, a 10ft high horse made of steel, wood and reeds, has been removed after Taverham artist Damian O’Connor was seen at around 3am on Saturday, December 29, on the Cromer Road roundabout.

An officer approached Mr O’Connor from behind giving him a “shock” as he attached the artwork, which is on a trailer, to his car.

Mr O’Connor claimed the officer then went on to question him before allegedly saying: “Do you think you are Banksy?”.

But the artist says that he is often seen by police and emergency services with there being a silent acknowledgment and passive appreciation of the piece.

War Horse has been removed from Norfolk's roads. Picture: ANDREW STONEWar Horse has been removed from Norfolk's roads. Picture: ANDREW STONE

The sculpture has been moved to various roundabouts on the road, also known as the NDR, about 20 times in the last year.

Mr O’Connor said: “I like to believe that when people see it they get a feeling about it.

“Whether that is memories of their grandfather using horses to plough fields or another feeling.

“Although this is art it is also similar to real horses in the fact it moves and keeps moving.

'War Horse' has been removed from Nofolk's roads. Picture: ANDREW STONE'War Horse' has been removed from Nofolk's roads. Picture: ANDREW STONE

“I often have police officers shine a spotlight on me or come over for a chat and never had any problems.”

The altercation has prompted Mr O’Connor to complain to Norfolk Police about the actions of the officer.

A police spokesman said: “Norfolk police can confirm they have received a complaint and it would be inappropriate to comment further until that complaint has been fully investigated.”

Now removed from 
the road, the sculpture 
will remain in Mr O’Connor’s garden until he receives a response from the police.

War Horse was created to commemorate the millions of horses lost 
in wars and the parts 
that the animals have played in Norfolk’s rural heritage.

It caused controversy last year after Norfolk County Council initially objected to the artwork’s placement.

Mr O’Connor added: 
“I have had greeting 
cards posted through 
my door from people 
about the horse and I 
like to think that when people drive past it it 
gives them a bit of pleasure.”

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