Prince statue comes closer

A STATUE of a Russian prince will be erected in Ipswich by the end of the year after town chiefs gave the work of public art the green light.The statue project has received strong support since Ipswich Council chief executive James Hehir came up with the idea and it was rubberstamped by town planners.

A STATUE of a Russian prince will be erected in Ipswich by the end of the year after town chiefs gave the work of public art the green light.

The statue project has received strong support since Ipswich Council chief executive James Hehir came up with the idea and it was rubberstamped by town planners.

Mr Hehir, an avid rugby fan, was keen that Ipswich 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.

“Obviously I am pleased that this project is going ahead and we look forward to placing this work of art in Ipswich,” he said.


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“We are hoping to have it in place by the late October.”

Prince Obolensky's family fled Russia when he was a baby and made their new home in England.

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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.

The statue will be placed on the eastern edge of the Cromwell Square car park adjacent to the footpath of St Nicholas Street.

Around £45,000 of the total cost of the statue, which exceeds £50,000, has been raised.

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.

Anyone who wants to help pay for the statue can send a donation to James Hehir c/o the chief executive at Ipswich Borough Council, Grafton house, 15-17 Russell Road, Ipswich, IP1 2DE.

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