Bamboozled by colossus amid station’s stately magnificence

King s Cross, tacitly acknowledged by the literati as the place where star crossed lovers, crooks, cardinals, saints, sinners, pimps and prostitutes converge at random times, is to be usurped by St Pancras as London s favourite meeting point. Hardly likel

King's Cross, tacitly acknowledged by the literati as the place where star crossed lovers, crooks, cardinals, saints, sinners, pimps and prostitutes converge at random times, is to be usurped by St Pancras as London's favourite meeting point. Hardly likely.

If one can convince a fisherman there's trout in the Sahara, I'll believe it. King's Cross has always had a particular ambience, an aura of intrigue that invites dalliances, skullduggery, liasions and cloak and dagger rendezvous in the vein of John Le Carre's novels, which is I suppose very much in character with that wildly profligate libertine King George IV, after whom it was named, renowned more for his gluttony than his debauchery.

His corporeal excesses have been embodied in statuary and portraiture showing his ample girth. One such statue is reputed to have been erected in King's Cross upon his death in 1830 but dismantled a decade later, the whereabouts of which is now anybody's guess.

If the area in front of the station is to be turned into a public square, then a statue of this great patron of the arts, a giant in his own right, should stand at its centre, corpulent and licentious though he may have been.


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And let's spare a thought for the statue of Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni, lonely as a cloud on one of the lofty pinnacles of nearby St Pancras. You'll have to crane your neck and squint your eyes to get so much as a glimpse of her.

But come, surely the gallant wench must be feeling the chill up there and would welcome a return to terra firma - something which the eminence grise behind the renaissance of St Pancras is unlikely to agree to, this magnificient station having now been lumbered with a colossus in the likeness of the sculptor Paul Day and his partner Catherine.

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Heaven forbid. Isn't the cloying presence of Gormley's doppelgangers too much an affront on the sensibilities already? One cannot help but feel that the statues, being descriptive in physiognomy, will serve for posterity to commemorate the sculptor and his wife only and not as a simulacrum for anything else.

Moreover will not such a colossus detract from appreciation of the station's magnificient and cavernous interior as it will turn out to be the cynosure of all eyes? The statues are also somewhat of an anachronism in the Victorian setting of the station.

That this hasn't invited stricture from the cognoscenti is all the more surprising. We the public have been well and truly bamboozled.

Walter Roberts

Henfield Close, London N19

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