Reported in the News Letter on January 10, 1957: Manchester school sculpture ‘is a monstrosity’

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A 13ft high sculpture, depicting a man and woman holding a boy, commissioned by Manchester Education Committee to be placed in the grounds of a new grammar school at Wythenshawe, was described yesterday by Councillor J Hopkins as “looking more like a couple of dinosaurs locked in a death struggle, or well-plucked turkeys standing on their tail-ends”.

Councillor Hopkins was protesting at a meeting of the city council against the expenditure of £2,500 on “such a monstrosity”.

He said: “If I had pink-painted toenails and was wearing sandals I might appreciate it.”

When a model of it was shown to members of a sub-committee the chairman produced it “like a Mississippi card-sharper”, the councillor said. He showed it for a second and then whipped it away.

Councillor Hopkins added that it appeared that they had gone right back from the beauty of the masters, and very soon they would go back to scratching on the wall as they did in cave-dwelling days.