Plea for dinosaur to stay at seafront

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Calls have been made for a 53ft sculpture of a dinosaur to remain in Portsmouth permanently.

The gigantic ultrasaurus on Southsea Common has won huge support from people in the city since taking up residency on the seafront this month.

And Portsmouth City Council's culture chief has pledged he'll do everything he can to persuade the dino's designers to allow it to return after it leaves in October for visits to Colchester and Cardiff.

There are no plans for what to do with the artwork - developed with Aspex gallery in Gunwharf Quays - once it completes its travels in April next year.

Ultrasaurus fan Barbara Stanley, who lives at Gunwharf, said: 'Everyone I've spoken to loves the dinosaur. It would be a shame if it goes to Cardiff or wherever and people there lay claim to it.

'We should see if it can be in Portsmouth permanently. It's a great attraction to the seafront.'

Cllr Lee Hunt, in charge of culture and leisure at Portsmouth City Council, said: 'We would love to have it back if we can.

'The city is interested in having it permanently, no doubt about it.

'It has got to go elsewhere first but I will do everything I can if it comes down to a fight to get it back here.'

Cllr Hunt said the dino would need planning permission to be based on Southsea Common permanently.

Clive Caswell, exhibition and gallery manager for Aspex, said: 'I've been blown away by the amount of support people have shown the sculpture.

'The fact people are saying about bringing it back to Portsmouth is fantastic.

'The only question is how long it would last being outside permanently. If it could be housed inside somewhere instead it would last a lot longer.'

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