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Building preservation notice for Barbara Hepworth sculpture ‘Theme and Variations’


On 1 October, Cheltenham Borough Council issued a Building Preservation Notice (BPN) to protect the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture called ‘Theme and Variations’ which is situated on Cheltenham House, Clarence Street, in the town centre.

The BPN has the effect of ‘spot listing’ the sculpture, immediately protecting it from being removed. A BPN is uncommon and generally only used in exceptional circumstances.

Installed in 1972, the three-part semi-circular bronze composition pieces ‘Theme and Variations’ was specifically commissioned for what was then the Cheltenham and Gloucester Building Society headquarters. The sculpture, being constructed by a historic forge and situated within the historic streetscape of Cheltenham, is considered to have national importance and artistic merit as one of Barbara Hepworth’s significant public commissions undertaken at the height of her international fame.

Cllr Flo Clucas, cabinet member for healthy lifestyles, says: “Spot listing this Hepworth sculpture is a really positive move, ensuring the sculpture is retained within our town and making a positive contribution to public art within an historic setting.”

Cllr Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, said: “An application for listing of the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture has been made to Historic England and the outcome of the process is awaited. We anticipate that the outcome of the listing process will be known in advance of the expiry of the BPN.”

Further information about the sculpture and artist can be found on the link below.


More details about Building preservation notice for Barbara Hepworth sculpture ‘Theme and Variations’ (External Link)


Cheltenham Borough Council

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