Derry-born sculptor’s Mary Peters’ ‘gift’ offer

Dame Mary Peters is pictured with Royal Ulster Academy President Julian Friers (right) beside her portrait sculpture by Whiteabbey sculptor John Sherlock (left).'The piece is featured in the RUA's 128th Annual Exhibition, sponsored by KPMG, which will take place from 2 ' 31 October 2009 in the Northern Bank on the corner of Waring St and North St, Belfast 'This year's exhibition features over 300 works by some of Ireland's most prestigious and well known artists alongside local emerging talent and encompasses the full range of visual arts disciplines from traditional paintings and drawings to contemporary installations.  'John Harrison/Harrison Photography

Dame Mary Peters is pictured with Royal Ulster Academy President Julian Friers (right) beside her portrait sculpture by Whiteabbey sculptor John Sherlock (left).'The piece is featured in the RUA's 128th Annual Exhibition, sponsored by KPMG, which will take place from 2 ' 31 October 2009 in the Northern Bank on the corner of Waring St and North St, Belfast 'This year's exhibition features over 300 works by some of Ireland's most prestigious and well known artists alongside local emerging talent and encompasses the full range of visual arts disciplines from traditional paintings and drawings to contemporary installations. 'John Harrison/Harrison Photography

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A Derry-born sculptor has offered to ‘gift’ a sculpture of Dame Mary Peters to Belfast City Council.

Former St Columb’s College student John Sherlock - based in Whiteabbey on the outskirts of Belfast - is one of Ireland’s leading sculptors.

John Sherlock's portrait sculpture of Mary Peters which features her after her Olympic win at Munich in 1972.

John Sherlock's portrait sculpture of Mary Peters which features her after her Olympic win at Munich in 1972.

If his offer is accepted, the sculpture would stand at the refurbished Mary Peters Track in south Belfast.

The track is currently undergoing major improvement works which are due to be completed in early 2013.

Dame Mary Peters won gold in the pentathlon at the Munich Olympics in 1972. The track named in her honour opened in 1975.

The refurbishment will see the construction of a new stand, the replacement of the existing six-lane track with an eight lane track and field events area, and new floodlighting.

Mr Sherlock has completed a number of public sculptures in Northern Ireland, including one of Professor Frank Pantridge, inventor of the portable defibrillator, which is located outside Lisburn Civic Centre.

The Derry artist has offered to gift a sculpture based on Mary Peters’ gold-medal celebration to the council which has responsibility for the track.

Mr Sherlock has also offered to supervise the construction and erection of the sculpture.

It’s estimated the subsequent cost of casting and building a plinth for the sculpture would come to around £20,000.