Royal artwork has been restored

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: The lion and unicorn statue on display in Cirencester's market place in 1953 The lion and unicorn statue on display in Cirencester's market place in 1953

AN ART historian has spoken of her joy of having a royal rope crown restored and ready for display in time for Cirencester’s diamond jubilee celebrations.

For several years, Lucy Abel Smith had been desperate to find a missing 11-ft high rope statue of a lion, unicorn and crown, which was the centrepiece for Cirencester’s 1953 coronation celebrations (pictured).

And after a campaign by the Standard last year, the statue was found in a ropey state on part of the Bathurst Estate.

The lion and unicorn pieces are yet to be restored, but guild workers were recently able to save the crown, which was previously remade in 1997 for Quenington’s biennial Fresh Air Show.

Until this week, it looked like their efforts might have been in vain because Lucy had not been able to find a venue willing to store it.

But on Tuesday, Cirencester’s Corinium Museum announced they would display the statue in their Diamond Jubilee exhibition from April 30 to June 5.

Lucy, from Quenington, said: “I can’t tell you how delighted I am that it will be shown for the diamond jubilee celebrations.

It was a miracle that it was found and restored and it is a very valuable piece of national significance.”

CDC’s Bob McNally said the Corinium museum and council were looking into a number of options which could lead to the artefact being placed on public display for a much longer period, to avoid the problem of storing the piece.

Anyone wishing to display the rope crown should call the Corinium Museum on 01285 655611.

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