Temporary Basra war veteran statue installed in Margate taken down as art project comes to a close

The statue and plinth being removed Photo John Horton

A statue modelled on a war veteran who served in Basra during the 2003 Iraq installed on Margate seafront has now been removed.

The artwork by sculptor Michael Rakowitz was at Marine Terrace, positioned between the Surf Boat Memorial and the Nayland Rock promenade shelter.

It was part of Waterfronts, a series of art commissions for England’s Creative Coast.

Michael Rakowitz:’s sculpture ‘April is the cruellest month’ Photo Frank Leppard

Taking its name from a line of TS Eliot’s The Wasteland, part of which was written in the Nayland shelter, theApril is the Cruellest Month temporary sculpture consisted of a life-sized male figure stood upon a plinth.

Photo John Horton

The war veteran it was based on served with the Royal Artillery in Basra, Iraq during the 2003 invasion. However, the message is anti-war with the soldier pointing inland towards Parliament its inspiration taken from the war poetry of Siegfried Sassoon

It was part of a waterfronts project led Turner Contemporary and Visit Kent which has now come to a close.


  1. I assumed it was to be a permanent feature.

    Surely it would have been cheaper top leave it there.

    What is happening to it ? Is it going to be displayed elsewhere ?

  2. I do hope “Real World” is joking, Sir Roger Gale could not even be bothered to vote to prevent Southern Water dumping sewage in the sea, polluting the coastline and making our beaches unsafe for both locals and visitors, particularly those who swim in the sea locally. We in North Thanet need an MP who will act for residents and businesses that serve the area, keeping our water safe is the least we should expect from Parliamentarians, they are the ones who chose to privatise it but they are unwilling to regulate the Water operators to protect our environment.

  3. How have you all gone from the sculpture to Roger gale,the sculpture should have been permanent, what a waste of money, all the sculptures should have been left as a reminder.

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