A statue of Margaret Thatcher’s severed head on a spike has been erected at the site where a £300,000 bronze figure could one day stand in The Iron Lady’s home town.
Art teacher Mark Robla, 34, used the cover of darkness to hoist up his carved plaster version of the former Prime Minister in Grantham, Lincolnshire, at 4am yesterday.
The odd sculpture now sits atop a plinth reserved for a 11ft statue of Thatcher which will be unveiled to commemorate her birthplace.
Mark said he decided to make his own homemade figure over a five month period in a bid to save South Kesteven District Council hundreds of thousands of pounds.
A statue of Margaret Thatcher’s severed head on a spike has been erected at the site where a £300,000 bronze figure could one day stand in The Iron Lady’s home town of Grantham
Art teacher Mark Robla, 34, used the cover of darkness to hoist up his carved plaster version of the former Prime Minister in Grantham, Lincolnshire, at 4am yesterday
The artwork is made from plaster and an old £5 office chair and Mark’s five-foot creation also depicts Thatcher’s iconic handbag sitting at the base.
Sculptor Mark, of Grantham, said: ‘I moved to Grantham about a year ago from North Wales where Thatcher isn’t too popular.
‘I had seen the statue was going to be unveiled and thought I might as well do my own version and I’ve saved the council hundreds of thousands of pounds.
‘I started off making a full figure but the arms kept falling off over time so I had a bit of an episode decided to stick her head to a pike.
‘I have been trying to get it all done and made before the council officially put the statue up. I’ll be amazed if its still standing today.’
Mark said he woke up in the early hours to be able to set up his £100 statue without being spotted on St Peter’s Hill green.
Two years ago South Kesteven District Council granted planning permission to erect the £300,000 statue of Baroness Thatcher which was previously rejected by Westminster Council
He added: ‘There was no breaking and entering. It has a metal fence around it so I’ve just gone in with my ladder and put it up in about five minutes.
‘I had my high vis jacket on and the plan was to say I was measuring the plinth for the council if anyone said anything.
‘I was just trying to put it up without being noticed that’s why I did it so early in the morning.
‘The council have no idea, it’s one of those things that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
‘I supposed a head cut off on a spike is not overly obscene for today’s day and age.
‘If it’s up for a week I will be happy but it’s up to the council they will take it down themselves – it hasn’t done any damage to the plinth though.
‘I suppose a big part of British history was obviously cutting peoples heads off in castles and things like that it’s a traditional thing.
‘I think having her head on a pike on a plinth to show it wasn’t necessarily a celebration of her.
‘Originally I wanted her to have bags of coal around the bottom but she’s actually got her hand holding onto her handbag instead which works a bit better visually.’
Thatcher who was the daughter of a shopkeeper and was born and raised in Grantham before gaining a scholarship to study at Oxford University.
The tribute’s plinth in Grantham town centre has stood empty for ten months while the argument continues over Baroness Thatcher’s legacy and a £100,000 unveiling ceremony which some believe should go to a local referendum
She served as Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990 and still divides public opinion today.
Mark added: ‘I’m from quite a working-class family and most of them are traditional Welsh and scousers as well so I think both sides weren’t big fans of hers.
‘A lot of my thoughts about Margaret Thatcher come from being Welsh. Mines closed down and she was never a positive figure in our household growing up.
‘I know my dad was always cursing her name when anything to do with Hillsborough came up.
‘But from what I have noticed she’s every chalk and cheese and some people like her and some don’t.
‘But I know a lot more people didn’t like her for what she did to the community where I grew up in North Wales.’
The statue of the former PM was rejected by London and instead offered to South Kesteven District Council.
It was acquired for £300,000 with money mainly being raised through public fundraising, private donations and supporters of the Grantham Museum.
The actual statue is currently being stored in a secret location after an unveiling ceremony set to cost taxpayers £100,000 has been postponed due to the pandemic.