UEA's Antony Gormley art installation criticised by students

image captionThe cast iron figures have been placed on the top of tall buildings in the university campus

An art installation featuring life-size human statues on top of university buildings has been criticised.

Students at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich claim the figures, by the acclaimed artist Sir Antony Gormley, resemble people contemplating jumping off.

The work is part of an exhibition by the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and will be on display for five years.

UEA said it "is proud" to be hosting "thought-provoking work".

image captionThe human figures are part of art project featuring three Gormley sculptures

One student told BBC Look East: "I really did think it was someone who was going to jump off a building."

Another student said of the cast iron figures: "I can see why they might startle someone, especially if they haven't been forewarned they're there."

In a statement, UEA said: "The university is proud to be hosting though-provoking work by an artist of such international acclaim.

"The reaction of the university community... has been overwhelmingly positive and we are sure the three figures will become much-loved focal points in our campus landscape."

image captionThe figures are part of a plan to create a sculpture trail at the UEA campus

Gormley is one the UK's leading artists and is probably best known for his Angel of the North.

However, his Event Horizon work - a touring exhibition which features human forms placed on top of buildings - has previously provoked fearful reactions.

In 2010, police in New York received calls from people who mistook human-shaped sculptures on the top of tall buildings for people about to jump.

There were similar concerns when the work was shown on London's South Bank in 2007 and the project was cancelled in Hong Kong in 2014 because a banker had jumped to his death the same year.

image source, Getty Images
image captionHuman figures on the edge of buildings featured in Gormley's show Event Horizon which has toured the world

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