Britain’s tallest ceramic statue, costing £80k, is a laughing stock

Three years in the making, the Earth Goddess structure in St Austell has been ridiculed by locals and branded a 'colossal waste of money'

The Earth Goddess structure is understood to have cost £80,000 to commission and is 38ft tall Credit: James Dadzitis / SWNS

Britain's tallest ceramic statue has provoked ridicule from locals and been branded "a colossal waste of money" after it was installed in St Austell, with even the local MP saying it doesn't reflect the Cornish town's identity.

The Earth Goddess structure, which is understood to have cost £80,000 to commission and is 38ft tall, was created by artist Sandy Brown and after three years in the making was recently installed in the town centre.

The creation is a celebration of St Austell’s China clay heritage and is intended to be the crowning piece of the Austell Project's Whitegold Ceramic Art Trail.

The creation is a celebration of St Austell’s China clay heritage and is intended to be the crowning piece of the Austell Project's Whitegold Ceramic Art Trail Credit: James Dadzitis / SWNS

However, locals have mocked the ceramic statue ahead of its official unveiling this weekend. It has been labelled an "absolute waste of money" by local residents who have likened it to a "giant Native American totem".

'Total joke'

While some admired the design, many locals were critical of the statue online, with one posting: "Probably the most laughable thing in Cornwall. What a total joke."

Another resident asked: "Maybe I will put some feathers in my hair and dance around it."

Steve Double, a local MP, posted a statement online to make it clear that he had “no involvement in the decision of the design” and would not be at the unveiling on Saturday.

Steve Double, a local MP, insisted no taxpayer money had been spent on the £80,000 design Credit: James Dadzitis / SWNS

"I appreciate art is subjective," he wrote. ''I appreciate that there may be some people who like this statue, however clearly there are many who don't.

''Personally, if I were involved in choosing something that reflects St Austell's identity, heritage and history, I think it is fair to say I would not have chosen this design.''

He also insisted no taxpayer money had been spent on the project.