The full cost of the new ‘Jenga’ sculpture outside Bracknell Station has been revealed.
The artwork, officially called ‘Onyo’, was installed in November last year.
It beat four other entries in a competition four years ago after 900 people voted for the culture in a poll hosted by South Hill Park Arts Centre and Bracknell Forest Council.
The council commissioned the structure through section 106 money – which is cash developers give to the council which can be used for more affordable housing, roads, and parks among other things.
An investigation has now revealed council bosses shelled out £20,000 for the installation of the sculpture, with separate installation costs coming to £1,576.
Landscaping fees will set the council back a further £4,170, and the cost of 12 months maintenance means a further £2,080 in spending.
Topping up the bark around the figure will see the authority fork out an extra £140.
The total cost for the purchase, installation and marketing of the sculpture came to £29,350.71.
Onyo is meant to relate “to Bracknell primarily through regeneration – the idea of progress (the continuous building of the structure) and a tipping point, leading to a new process of building.”
But the artwork has split opinions among residents.
Mark John said: “£30k on that bloody thing! I don’t particularly think it’s terrible, I just think it looks out of place.
“I would have preferred a stag for example as that’s our symbol.”
Rob Francis said: “I think that public art is a great thing, and I’m very fond of Kerry Lemon’s nature-inspired works around the town.
“But this particular piece doesn’t really excite me or fit in with the rest of that nature aesthetic.
“I think good art can come with a price tag like this.”
However, responding to a post about the sculpture online, other commenters said it looked “eye-catching”, “great” and “contemporary”.
One added: “It’s quite jolly. At least it has some colour.
“I think I could come to enjoy seeing it as I come into the station.”
The sculpture was created by artist Samuel Zealey and is made from a range of materials including york stone, aluminium, marble and more.
Andrew Hunter, director for place, planning and regeneration at Bracknell Forest Council, said: “As part of the Gateway Project – a collaboration between South Hill Park and the council to increase art in public spaces – a competition was held for a new piece of art for Bracknell station forecourt.
“The Onyo sculpture won the public vote and has now been in place for over 12 months.
“Funding for the Onyo sculpture was paid for by developer contributions.
“Sculptures and public art always stimulate debate and serve to create identity, distinctiveness and key focal points for towns.”