Uproar over 'offensive' Ned Kelly sculpture

Ned Kelly statue takes pride of place in Surrey Hills front yard. Photo: 7News
Ned Kelly statue takes pride of place in Surrey Hills front yard. Photo: 7News

A giant Ned Kelly sculpture which has taken pride of place in a Surrey Hills front yard is dividing residents.

While the sculptor's proud and the home owner loves it, neighbors aren't convinced a dead tree should have been carved into a statue of an outlaw.

But when the council told Arne Huchmann to cut his ten-year-old Cedar tree down for safety reasons, he had a better idea.

He hired artist Rob Bast who spent just three days creating the four-metre gun-toting sculpture using a chain saw.

"We wanted something Australian and we wanted a piece of art that was different to what we would usually see," Arne told 7News.

"I had people driving pased and looking. They'd get half way down the street and reverse back," Rob added.

But while the family love it, it has become a massive talking point for neighbours.

Some residents say it has become a spectacle, attracting many to the area.

Bridget Facey told 7News: "I don't see it as being offensive, I just see it as being weird...why is there a statue in your yard?"

Sally Dumaresq added: "I actually think it's quite a spectacular piece of artwork."

But some neighbours, who chose to remain anonymous, want the sculpture torn down, saying it's inappropriate to have a gun pointed at someone's house.

One resident told a Leader newspaper she found the statue offensive as many children lived in the area.

"The violence caused by guns is a major problem in the world today," she said.

"It's not appropriate and it's the most revolting thing you have ever seen.

"The gun is pointing at someone across the road and to have it in suburbia it's just bad taste."

What do you think? Do you think should the sculpture should be allowed to remain?