De­posed! Dic­ta­tors’ tree­top palaces axed

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kentish Express Time Capsule - By Ai­dan Barlow

The dic­ta­tor­ships of Stalin, Mus­solini, and Ceaus­escu have been top­pled, as art­works de­pict­ing their palaces have now been re­moved.

Sculp­tors from Lon­don Field­works had cre­ated the pieces as part of the Su­per King­dom ex­hi­bi­tion at King’s Wood in Chal­lock.

The pieces de­picted the lux­ury palaces of the three tyrants, which were placed high in the trees at the wood­land.

Each of the sculp­tures re­flected some of the build­ing de­signs used by the dic­ta­tors, in­clud­ing Stalin’s Palac Kul­tury i Nauki in Warsaw, Mus­solini’s Palazzo della Civilta Ital­iana in Rome, and Ceaus­escu’s Casa Po­poru­lui in Bucharest.

Stalin died in 1953 and ru­mours per­sist that he was poi­soned, while Mus­solini was shot and strung up by left-wing par­ti­sans in Mi­lan in 1945, and Ceaus­escu was ex­e­cuted by fir­ing squad on Christ­mas Day in 1989 af­ter try­ing to flee Ro­ma­nia.

But like the com­mu­nist and fas­cist regimes they led, the sculp­tures ul­ti­mately crum­bled be­yond re­pair.

Ken­tish Stour Coun­try­side Part­ner­ship of­fi­cer Diane Com­ley said: “The pieces were in­stalled high in the trees, over­look­ing the woods since 2008.

“Over the course of two days, King’s Wood saw the fall of its Su­per King­dom. The pieces were striking and iconic, and were much loved by many.

“They pro­vided in­spi­ra­tion to nu­mer­ous artists and stu­dents who vis­ited them in the wood­land sur­round­ing.

“The pieces re­flected the artist’s sense of con­flict be­tween na­ture and the built en­vi­ron­ment. Sadly the struc­tures had de­te­ri­o­rated be­yond re­pair, so we made the dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to take them down.”

The Stour Val­ley Cre­ative Part­ner­ship is now seek­ing to com­mis­sion new art works and ed­u­ca­tion pro­grammes for the woods.

For more in­for­ma­tion call 03000 410900 or email ken­tish­s­tour@kent.gov.uk

‘They pro­vided in­spi­ra­tion to nu­mer­ous artists and stu­dents ’

Art­works show­ing the palaces of Mus­solini, Ceaucescu and Stalin have been re­moved

RE­MOVED: Mus­solini, Ceaus­escu and Stalin

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