A LARGE sculpture in Lostwithiel has been removed less than 14 months after it was unveiled.
The town council, which commissioned the artwork by sculptor Robin Guest, said it was never intended to be a permanent feature and had asked for it to be dismantled.
All that remained this week was the plinth with the names of the people who helped erect it.
Mr Guest said many people were shocked at the council's decision to order its removal, and because it had proved popular, hoped it would have been retained as a permanent piece of art.
The sculpture, which incorporated the letters that spell Lostwithiel to form a large picnic table, was unveiled in June 2012 to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Twenty three people had combined to put in 800 hours of work to complete the artwork, including Mr Guest, who dedicated 500 hours to the project.
Made of marine plywood, it was crafted to resemble granite, which had been the intended construction material in 2004 when it was first commissioned by the town council, subject to funding.
In the end, Mr Guest's son, Christian, paid for the materials which cost £1,200.
Lostwithiel town clerk Sandra Harris said: "The artwork was always intended to be erected on a temporary basis, it was never going to be a permanent feature in Lostwithiel, and we asked Mr Guest to remove it.''
Mr Guest said over the years, a number of town mayors had expressed their interest in a sculpture that would form a centrepiece for Lostwithiel.
"When I was asked by the previous mayor, Dave Robson, to provide the sculpture for the jubilee celebrations in 2012, some 22 local people set about the construction, completely at their own time and expense. The resulting work was a tribute to Lostwithiel, to the Queen and it was latterly painted red, white, blue, gold, silver and bronze to celebrate British Olympic success.
"Yes, it was only supposed to be temporary, but I felt sure that with its extensive use and popularity it would become a permanent feature of the town.''
Mr Guest added: "I am at a total and complete loss to understand how the town council have reached their unanimous decision, as are many other people who express their shock and disbelief.
"In view of previous mayors' support for my work the surprise is all the greater – perhaps the council is now minded to create a culture-free zone,'' said Mr Guest.