Basking in the sun once more
Acrowdfunding campaign has raised £22,000 to enable one of the best sculptures of the famous 1951 festival of Britain, lost for decades and recently rediscovered, to be returned to the South Bank. Peter Laszlo Peri’s The Sunbathers (left) was originally set on a wall at waterloo station and greeted visitors as they approached the festival.
Peri was a Hungarian-born artist who had arrived in England in 1933. He had pioneered his own form of coloured concrete, called Peri-crete, and this was used for the pink figures of the sunbathers.
Like many other pieces, it was thought lost, but, after Historic England launched a campaign to track down lost public art two years ago, it was spotted in the garden of a hotel in Blackheath. conservationists have removed a layer of newer paint to reveal the original sunkissed terracotta.
it will be free for all to see in the royal festival Hall for the summer season and an afternoon of activities inspired by the sculpture will take place on the terrace outside the Southbank centre terrace on July 29. Jack Watkins