WHAT the Queen thought of Calne's controversial new statue when she visited the town to open its multi-million library is not officially known, but plenty of other people have strong views.

The £37,000 statue of a head lying on its side, which is outside the library, was unveiled by the Queen on December 7. Since then it has been the subject of hot debate within the town, said librarian Sue Boddington.

"I have to say the majority of people who have talked about it are a bit dubious," she said. "Many have the obvious reaction and dismiss it saying they don't understand it but there are some who think it is good to have some public art."

The Millennium statue was the brainchild of former mayor Coun Eric Porter, who contacted a number of businesses that agreed to help fund the project. No town council money was spent.

The three metre long and two metre tall head was designed by sculptor Rick Kirby, 49, from Herefordshire, who said he expected it to cause some reaction.

He said it represents saying goodbye to the old, decaying Calne and welcoming the new look of the town and its promising future.

Mrs Boddington said in many ways the sculpture had worked because lots of people had stopped to look at it and were talking about it. "I personally like it and it has certainly achieved its objective," she said. People should talk about art and that is what they have done. It is technically well made and very thought provoking because there are lots of ways to look at it."

Calne Town Council has received a number of letters from people in the town. Town clerk Ann Kingdon said it was impossible to please everyone all the time.