A tabloid news story that a group of gay men have applied for planning permission to erect a statue of pop singer Kylie Minogue in a London street is news to Westminster City Council.
The Daily Star this morning ran the story under the headline “Kylie Gets A Gay Statue,” which reported that “Kylie Minogue’s loyal team of homosexuals” have applied for planning permission to have a statue of the singer erected in Old Compton St.
A spokesman for Westminster council told PinkNews.co.uk: “We have received no record of this planning application.”
Even if the story is not, as assumed, a publicity stunt designed to promote Ms Minogue’s latest project, a documentary film of her latest tour called White Diamond, it is highly unlikely the council would allow a statue of the 39-year-old Australian to be erected anywhere in Westminster.
Central London has one of the highest concentrations of statues in the world.
In May Westminster issued a consultation document on plans to limit the number of applications for statues.
“This would mean that applications for new statues and monuments will not normally be permitted here unless there is an exceptionally good reason such as in the wake of a large scale disaster,” it read.
“Anyone who wants to erect a statute in Westminster will usually need to wait until a period of ten years has elapsed from the death of the individual or the date of a particular event before the council will consider granting planning permission.
“This, according to a council report on the future of statues in Westminster, will allow partisan passions to cool and enable sober reflection, for the careful selection of a site, for the raising of funds and for the commissioning of the best possible piece of work.”
“As an alternative, the council is keen to encourage more ‘living memorials’ such as trees or gardens which provide a quiet and attractive location for reflection.”
The Daily Star reported that: “The Sheila’s bronze will recline on an arch over the street in her famous gold hotpants.
“Our man with the fluffy chisel said: “The Eros statue should be in Old Compton Street, not Piccadilly Circus. But we’re having our very own little goddess of love, in the form of Kylie.
“There are plans for a similar Kylie statue on Canal Street in Manchester. But London will be Britain’s first city to be be blessed with her bronzed buttocks.”
It seems that Old Compton Street will have to wait until at least 2017 before a Kylie statue can even be considered.
There are already 163 pieces of figurative sculpture in Westminster.
93 of these statues are listed, and many of them were by the leading artists of their day and are major works of art in their own right reflecting a particular stage in the history of art and design.
The oldest piece of public art in Westminster – excluding the 3,500 year old Cleopatra’s Needle – is the equestrian statue of Charles I in Trafalgar Square, dating from 1633.