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The Meeting Place

This kitsch piece is already looking very dated and the only proper view of it has you looking up the woman’s skirt. By Paul Day again, the models are himself and his wife; well, at least two people get a kick out of it. Even worse are the skeletal figures around the base, inspired by the film Love Actually.

St Pancras Station NW1
Tube: St Pancras

Battle Of Britain

‘Our Finest Hour’ is marked by this collage of figures, iconic images of the time, cast  in bronze by sculptor Peter Day, but looking more Airfix kit than heroic. The memorial bears the names of the 2,936 pilots, from all over the world, who fought with the Royal Air Force in 1940.

Victoria Embankment SW1
Tube: Westminster
www.bbm.org.uk

Given that it costs so much to commission a statue, and so long to make one, you would think there would be plenty of time to get it right and a large commitment to doing so since they might be around for hundreds of years. Judging by some of the results, you would be wrong.

Agree or disagree? Please suggest any statues you think should or should not be on the list: E-mail me.

Worst Statues

Building Worker

This bland 3m bronze – badly needing a touch of Soviet Worker Hero – is by sculptor Alan Wilson. Celebrating the building workers’ contribution to the economy, it also remembers all those who have lost their lives at work. Wreaths are placed on the statue each year on April 28 – Workers' Memorial Day.

Tower Hill EC3
Tube: Tower Hill

LIFFE Trader

This 1997 bronze by Stephen Melton already looks very dated. Opposite Cannon Street Station, it shows a Yuppie trader doing business on his massive cell phone. The Life International Finance Futures Exchange ID badges hang from his blazer which is painted with black stripes.

Walbrook EC4

Tube: Cannon Street

The Brown Dog

This ugly work by Nicola Hicks was put here in 1985 by the National Anti-Vivisection Society, replacing one of 1910 that had caused riots. It notes the suffering of laboratory animals worldwide and one dog in particular – operated on at  University College, London in 1903.

Battersea Park SW8
Rail: Queenstown Road
www.navs.org.uk

Sherlock Holmes

The first full-size statue of Sherlock Holmes was in Switzerland in 1988, by British sculptor John Doubleday – who also did the fine Charlie Chaplin in Leicester Square. Doubleday was then commissioned for this awkward-looking London tribute to the famous detective, unveiled in 1999.

Marylebone Road NW1
Tube: Baker Street

Robert Burns

The national poet of Scotland, ‘Rabbie’ Burns wrote in Scots dialect and is celebrated worldwide every year on Burns Night, Jan 25, with the singing of his famous ‘Auld Lang Syne’. This lifeless statue by John Steell is a copy of one in Central Park, New York, and shows him writing the poem ‘Highland Mary’.

Victoria Embankment SW1
Tube: Embankment

Simon Bolivar

The great liberator of Latin America has this almost childishly poor statue with the inscription: ‘Liberator of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Panama. Founder of Bolivia. Born in Caracas Venezuela 24 July 1783. He died in Santa Maria Colombia 17 December 1830.’

Belgrave Square SW1
Tube: Hyde Park Corner

David Lloyd George

Welsh MP Lloyd George was prime minister from 1916 to 1922, playing a large part in victory in World War I and the Versailles peace treaty. As chancellor of the exchequer, he helped introduce old age pensions and state benefits for the ill and unemployed. This bland 2007 statue is by Prof Glynn Williams.

Parliament Square SW1
Tube: Westminster

Nelson Mandela

What did Mandela ever do to deserve this? Dancing with an invisible partner, looking very ordinary, it is a brave but failed attempt to capture the magic of this great statesman speaking. Sculptor Ian Walters was also responsible for the energetic statue of CND founder Fenner Brockway in Red Lion Square.

Parliament Square SW1
Tube: Westminster

Women of World War II

Showing the clothes worn by working and serving women during the war, this memorial by sculptor John Mills cost £1m. Former Speaker Betty Boothroyd raised £800,000 of the cost by appearing on the quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in 2002. Despite all that, it is a blot on the nearby Cenotaph.

Whitehall SW1
Tube: Westminster

Animals At War

Inspired by a Jillie Cooper book, this is a memorial to the millions of animals who died in C20th wars – 8million horses alone in World War I. Sculptor David Backhouse shows horses, mules, dogs, elephants, camels, pigeons and even the glow-worms used to light WWI trenches. A lovely idea, badly executed.

Park Lane W1
Tube: Marble Arch

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