LOVE it or loathe it, the new public art for Eign Gate is installed and unclad.

Judging by a recent Hereford Times pedestrian poll - see it online at - more of you like it than not, although there is a general misconception that it's a waste of tax-payers money'. It is, in fact, a gift to the city.

Adam Greenwell's statue, which was inspired by the vaulted ceiling of nearby Hereford Cathedral, was commissioned by the Rotary Club of the City of Hereford, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Rotary International.

He also took into account the gothic arches and stained glass in the nearby All Saints Church, with which the statue had to find synergy.

The Rotary Club worked with the council and Herefordshire College of Art and Design on the project and the sculpture has been designed to suit its setting in a very public area, next door to All Saints Church on the raised stone plinth and seating area.

Four final year students on the degree course at Herefordshire's School of Blacksmithing and Farriery at Holme Lacy competed for the commission, which included a prize of £1,000, and a selection panel voted on the winner in February of this year.

This was after public feedback on all four designs, which were displayed in All Saints Church in January.

The judging panel had representatives from all the partners involved, and a representative from the church, which is the closest public building to the new work and provides one of the best views of the statue as you emerge from its Eign Gate door.

Adam's design received an all round thumbs-up from both the panel and the public and he began work on the statue as he completed his degree this summer.

"I wanted to create a visual barrier to break up Eign Gate and High Town while still being able to see through," Adam said. "Your eye also follows upwards to the architecture of the surrounding buildings."

He admitted that the one-and-a-half tonne, six-metre statue looked massive in the workshop but seemed a bit dwarfed when installed.

"I've learned a hell of a lot from the experience," he said, "it's been a great opportunity."

The original brief required the artist to produce a work that could withstand possible vandalism and the ultimate finish of the piece - it has been pressure-washed by Hereford Galvanizers - is also designed to be easy to clean and representative of the texture and colour of stone.

The sculpture was officially presented to the city by Rotary president Derek Duffett on Tuesday and unveiled by Councillor John Stone, vice-chairman of Herefordshire Council.

Mr Duffett explained Rotary's contribution to the costs had come from members, not from the fund-raising for which it was best known. He also paid tribute to Rtn Brian Draper, who initiated and drove the project, but was in hospital recovering from major heart surgery.