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Museum Unveils ‘Testing for Gas’ Sculpture

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

A new sculpture has been unveiled at the National Coal Mining Museum for England. The sculpture, Testing for Gas, has been donated to the Museum jointly by Mr John Harris, the outgoing Chair of the Coal Authority, and by renowned sculptor, Mr Antony Dufort.
Guests, including the Deputy Mayor and Consort of Wakefield and the Deputy Mayor of Kirklees, were welcomed by the new Chair of the Museum, the Right Hon the Baroness Morris of Yardley, who was presiding over her first official function at the Museum. The vote of thanks was given by the previous Chair, the Rt Hon the Baroness Lockwood, who is now President of the Museum.
The full-size sculpture was originally commissioned in 2003 by Nottinghamshire County Council from Mr Dufort to depict a Deputy with a safety lamp, testing for gas in a coal seam. It has been located on Silverhill, overlooking the county’s coalfields, since March 2005.
Mr Harris presented a scaled version of the sculpture to the Museum to commemorate his time with the Coal Authority and to thank the Museum for the assistance given to Mr Dufort with his original research. A second sculpture has also been presented to the Coal Authority in Nottinghamshire by Mr Harris to mark his eight years in post as Chair.
Mr Harris who is now Chair of the newly formed Coal Forum, commented “The sculpture Testing for Gas, depicting a Deputy carrying out such an important task, shows the strength and robustness of the men that worked and still work underground, and serves as an important reminder of the dangerous conditions of the industry. I hope that the sculpture will communicate these important messages to all who visit the Museum.”
The Rt Hon the Baroness Morris, Chair of the Museum, said “We are delighted to accept this kind donation from Mr Harris, marking the close relationship between the Museum and the Coal Authority, which has already led to a number of major joint projects.”
For further information please contact the Museum on 01924 848806 or email
Photo caption: (l-r) Baroness Lockwood, Anthony Dufort, Baroness Morris, John Harris.

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