Retired GP in bull statue row

A RETIRED GP has been left feeling “humiliated and insulted” after a statue he presented to the Suffolk town where he has worked for more than 30 years was left in a “junkyard.”

Dr Dev Mukerji was a GP in Ipswich for 30 years and then worked at Ipswich Hospital – but on retirement took up sculpture as a hobby.

Working with renowned sculptor Miles Robinson – who created the Giles statue – he made a full-size sculpture of a bull in cold-cast bronze.

He presented the work to the town in 2006, and for two years it stood in Civic Drive, near the New Wolsey Theatre.

However, it became the target of vandals.

Initially a metal fence was put up around it to try to keep the vandals out, but later it was removed while a more suitable place was found.

Dr Mukerji was told that the sculpture would be kept safe in a polytunnel at Ipswich Borough Council’s nursery in Chantry Park.

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He said: “As nothing had happened regarding re-siting for almost two years, I decided to go to Chantry nursery to look at it.

“I was absolutely dismayed and disgusted to find the sculpture had been left in an area that looked like a junkyard with weeds growing halfway up its side and no cover on top.

“I feel humiliated and insulted by Ipswich Borough Council’s action as custodian of this sculpture.”

Dr Mukerji said he now wanted to take the sculpture back and put it in his own garden until the council can find somewhere appropriate for it.

A spokesman for the council said the sculpture was very fragile, and it had been difficult to find a home for it.

“Unfortunately we have been unable to find an appropriate site for this beautiful yet fragile statue that would safeguard it against vandalism,” he said.

“We shall be contacting Dr Mukerji in due course to ask him what he wishes to do with it.

“A senior officer of the council recently inspected the storage conditions of the bull to ensure it was appropriate and respectful.”

Borough councillor with responsibility for leisure Andrew Cann said the best solution would probably be for Dr Mukerji to take the sculpture back.