The controversial Library of Birmingham statue of two single mums and their children has been ‘hijacked’ by a New Fathers for Justice campaigner.
Bobby Smith, 32, stuck photos of himself and his two young daughters onto the £100,000 bronze artwork which was designed to depict an ‘ordinary’ city family. He also threw a sheet over one of the mums.
The dad-of-two said the statue, unveiled outside the iconic building on Thursday, suggested fathers were not an important part of family life.
Mr Smith, who travelled from his home in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, for the one-man protest, said: “They’ve depicted the normal family with no fathers.
“There’s nothing wrong with single mothers but this statue is saying one person can do both jobs, and I believe kids are always better off with both parents in their lives.
“This is a statue that is potentially going to be around for hundreds of years and it’s not a great thing to show young people.
“I thought I was going to get a lot of verbal abuse but people have been so supportive – especially women.”
Roma and Emma Jones with their children at the unveiling of the statue inspired by their family.Roma and Emma Jones with their children at the unveiling of the statue inspired by their family.
Sisters Emma and Roma Jones and their three children were chosen from nearly 400 “real” families as the models for the statue.
At the unveiling in Centenary Square, the sisters refused to reveal details of their unique family set-up which made a panel of judges pick them as representing the city in the 21st Century.
The sculpture shows Roma, aged 29, with her son Kyan, aged four, and Emma, 27, with five-year-old Shaye and Isaac, now eight months.
In the work of art, Isaac is just a “bump” because Emma was pregnant at the time.
The sculpture was made in China and cost £100,000 which was financed by a mixture of public money and private donations.