Appeal to honour Ipswich's greatest son

LOCAL historians gathered today to launch an appeal to create a memorial in honour of Cardinal Wolsey, Ipswich's most famous son.

IPSWICH: Historians have gathered to launch an appeal to create a memorial in honour of Cardinal Wolsey, Ipswich's most famous son.

Civic leaders and historians aim to raise �100,000 to commission the artwork tribute to commemorate Thomas Wolsey.

The sculpture will celebrate the life of the Ipswich born cardinal who rose to become Henry VIII's Chancellor - effectively the second most powerful man in Tudor England.

Patrons of the Wolsey Artwork for Ipswich Appeal met yesterday to launch the project.

To begin the appeal Peter Osbourne, general manager of the Ramada Encore Hotel, presented a cheque for �1,000.

Wolsey's Gate and St Peter's Church, near the town's Waterfront, are all that remain of Wolsey's dream to build a college in Ipswich to rival the likes of Eton and Winchester.

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The patrons of the appeal received over 50 applications from worldwide artists competing to be selected to honour Wolsey. Five artists have now been shortlisted and the patrons will announce the winning artist in December.

Rebecca Weaver, patron and Arts Development Manager of the Ipswich Borough Council, said: “It's such an exciting project.

“We had applications from all over the world, talented artists from as far as America. Of the shortlisted artists there is some local talent, which nicely reflects the people of Suffolk.

“Wolsey was a very important local character of a national significance, it should be celebrated and this is the best way to do it.”

The sculpture will either be placed in St. Peter's Street, where Wolsey wanted to retire, or outside St Peter's Church.

Dr John Blatchly, a leader of the appeal, said: “This is so important because for nearly 500 years we have neglected to honour Ipswich's greatest son, now it is time to pay tribute.”

Donations large and small, from corporate organisations, trusts and from the public are welcome - cheques should be made out to Thomas Wolsey Artwork Appeal, c/o Fifth Floor, Grafton House, Russell Road, Ipswich, IP1 2DE.

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