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The world’s tallest ceramic statue is being unveiled at cost of 80K - but slammed by locals and an MP as a waste of money and dubbed 'The Pork Sword' .

Called 'Earth Goddess' the structure was created by artist Sandy Brown for St Austell, Cornwall - to celebrate its heritage of China clay.

But locals have relentlessly mocked the UK's 11.5m high tallest ceramic statue 'eyesore' in the build-up to its official unveiling this Saturday (25th).

Priced at £80,000, the statue aimed to put the town 'on the map' after three years of construction.

Instead has been labelled an "absolute waste of money" by local residents who question 'what map would include it' and why people would visit it.

Described online as resembling a 'giant Native American totem', the statue is the crowning piece of the Austell Project’s Whitegold Ceramic Art Trail.

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The project aims to "work with creative people, to make innovative and activated public spaces that use art and design to celebrate the culture of clay country, adding to a sense of place.

The statue stands taller than two double decker busses and was designed Ms Brown to "visually connect with St Austell’s rich China clay heritage".

One man suggested it would be a good local meeting place, commenting: "Meet me by the pork sword in town."

The statue'Meet me by the pork sword in town'SWNS

While some admired the design, many locals slated the statue online, with one woman posting: "Probably the most laughable thing in Cornwall. What a total joke.

"Did the residents actually pay for this? Kinda says it all really about the decision makers."

Another resident asked: "Maybe I will put some feathers in my hair and dance around it."

Locals have also been critical of the location choice for the statue - standing in front of a slightly dilapidated looking Boots branch store.

One commentator also labelled the cost a 'joke' during the cost of living crisis.

They wrote: "What an absolute waste of money. Just look behind, couldn’t have chosen a better place to plonk this thing.

"People are starving and cost of living us rocketing yet they still pour money into this whatever it’s called. Ridiculous!"

St Austell and Newquay MP Steve Double has laid into the debate.

He said: “I appreciate art is subjective.

''I appreciate that there may be some people who like this statue, however clearly there are many who don’t.

''Personally, if I were involved in choosing something that reflects St Austell’s identity, heritage and history, I think it is fair to say I would not have chosen this design.''

The creation is intended as a celebration of St Austell’s connection to China clay.

Artist Sandy Brown explained: “I really wanted this sculpture to make an impact and for it to visually connect with St Austell’s rich China clay heritage.

"The Earth Goddess is made of the product, clay, which is so intrinsic to this place.

"It’s my hope that she celebrates the town’s unique history and represents our collective and eternal roots with the environment, nature and mother earth.”

You can find out more about The Whitegold Project here.

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