Bid made for Russian prince statue

AN application to build a £50,000 statue of a Russian prince in Ipswich is due to go before town chiefs this week.

AN application to build a £50,000 statue of a Russian prince in Ipswich is due to go before town chiefs this week.

The statue project has received strong support since Ipswich Borough Council chief executive James Hehir came up with the idea.

The avid rugby fan believed Ipswich should recognise its links to Prince Obolensky, who was made famous by two legendary tries he scored in England's first defeat of the All Blacks in 1936.

An application to erect the statue on the eastern edge of the Cromwell Square car park adjacent to the footpath of St Nicholas Street will go before the council's development control committee tomorrow.

Mr Hehir said: “There are a few statues around Ipswich now and they make the town more interesting.

“There is a whole range of people and hopefully there will be some more in the future, great names of the past such as Cardinal Wolsey and people like that.

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“They brighten up the street scene.”

Prince Obolensky's family fled Russia when he was a baby and made their new home in England. The winger's tries against the All Blacks have led to him being immortalised in the Rugby Hall of Fame.

The prince is buried at Ipswich Cemetery after he was killed when his Hawker Hurricane fighter crashed on landing at Martlesham Heath in 1940.

Billionaire Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich donated £5,000, while the Rugby Football Union gave a similar amount and Ipswich businessman Graeme Kalbraier, who runs town centre call handling firm Call Connection, gave £20,000.

Mr Hehir said a total of around £45,000 has now been raised for the cost of the statue.

Do you support the statue project? Is there another famous person from Ipswich who deserves similar recognition? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk