A sculpture of a giant white horse taller than the Statue of Liberty is set to tower over the countryside as part of an unusual scheme to help revive the fortunes of a depressed region of England.
The 50-meter equine artwork was Tuesday announced as the winner of a competition to design a landmark to dominate the skyline of the Ebbsfleet Valley, set to be a new stop on the Eurostar London-to-Paris rail link. Designed by artist Mark Wallinger — whose previous work has included dressing in a bear suit and wandering around a gallery in Berlin — the £2 million ($3 million) horse will be one of the largest artworks in the UK. Wallinger’s horse — which echoes ancient white horse symbols carved into hillsides around Britain — beat a shortlist of designs that included a tower of stacked cubes and giant steel nest. Victoria Pomery, head of the panel that selected the design, described the 33-times normal size horse as “outstanding.” “Mark is a superb artist of world renown and his sculpture will become a real landmark for Ebbsfleet Valley and the whole region,” she said. It drew a less favorable response from readers of local Web site Kentnews.com, who described it as a “waste of money,” an “abomination” and “depressing.” One correspondent, Andy Smith, added: “This horse looks extremely silly.”