Council's apology after Josiah Wedgwood sculpture destroyed in Stoke

The destroyed Josiah Wedgwood sculpture in Festival Way Credit: BPM Media

A sculpture of Josiah Wedgwood has been destroyed - due to a "significant operational error" by council contractors.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has apologised "unreservedly" for the destruction of the 10ft red brick sculpture Capo, by Vincent Woropay, which had stood next to Festival Way, in Etruria.

The council has launched an investigation into Tuesday's incident which is linked to works to expand the nearby Marina Way roundabout following the recent opening of the Etruria Valley Link Road.

It still remains unclear about what exactly happened to cause the destruction of the sculpture, which has been left as just a pile of bricks.

The Josiah Wedgwood sculpture in Festival Way Credit: BPM Media

A council spokesman said: "A significant operational error has occurred in the removal of this statue, and we apologise unreservedly for that.

"We have taken this matter up directly with contractors to understand what has gone wrong.

"Work is beginning this week to widen the road in Marina Way, to open up access to Festival Park, following the major infrastructure works and new link road at the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone.

"It’s an exciting project that will bring big benefits to employment opportunities and for businesses to grow in the city.

"However, the city’s cultural heritage is deeply important, and we are urgently looking into this matter with our contractors.

"The bricks and base of the sculpture will be sensitively removed while we understand what clearly went wrong here."

Council leader Abi Brown added: "I am devastated that this error has occurred.

"Culture is at the fabric of our city and plays a hugely significant role in the story of Stoke-on-Trent.

"I have instructed the director of the service to personally oversee immediate work to protect the sculpture and investigate how this has happened."

The sculpture was originally commissioned by the city council for the 1986 National Garden Festival.

In 2009 it was moved from storage to its current location close to Josiah Wedgwood's home Etruria Hall, which is now part of the DoubleTree by Hilton Stoke-on-Trent hotel.