Foch, Ferdinand

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There was some unhappiness at having to accept work by a French sculptor and views were expressed as to the merit of Malissard’s work. Lord Crawford (seemingly associated with the Fine Art Commission) writes on 26th November 1929. “I suppose it is finally settled that we shall have a copy of the French figure? It is a very poor and commonplace thing, and extremely expensive into the bargain: for £ 5,000 we could almost get a work made by a British artist. The French projected statue of Lord Haig is of course to be made by a Frenchman. Is there no chance of getting the work for one of our own people? We would give Malissard a lesson! Numerous letters to “The Times” continue the argument that the work should have been given to a British sculptor.

There was also much discussion as to whether the statue be erected at the northern end of the Grosvenor Gardens, or the southern end, this very much favoured by the Marshal Foch Memorial Fund and the Duke of Westminster. The main reason for the latter’s preference was that they wished the statue to be in a position were it could be seen “by all Frenchmen arriving at Victoria, and by the Guards marching to and from Chelsea Barracks” In the end the southern end was chosen.

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