MORE than 2,000 people have signed a petition against a massive ‘Iron Ring’ sculpture being installed at a castle.

The £395,000 Iron Ring, up to seven metres high and 30m wide, is to be installed at Flint Castle in a £630,000 Welsh Government investment project.

But an online petition is fighting the project as the ring is seen as a symbol of Welsh oppression dating back to the Middle Ages _ when Edward I conquered Wales between 1277 and 1283.

The petition was started by Izzy Evans who states: “We oppose the building of the Iron Ring outside of Flint Castle as we are well aware of the historical significance of Edward I and his so-called Iron Ring as a use to subjugate and oppress our people.

“We find this extremely disrespectful to the people of Wales and our ancestors who battled oppression, subjugation and injustice for hundreds of years.

“We ask that you please rethink the decision to build this monument and use the money elsewhere.”

The scheme, part of the Welsh Government’s Year of Legends tourism project, includes a £217,000 staircase in the castle and a masterplan to consider the regeneration of the Flint foreshore.

Announcing the project, Ken Skates, the Welsh Government’s cabinet secretary for economy, said: “In its prime Flint Castle played a pivotal role in not only shaping the future of Wales but that of the UK and Europe.

“The Iron Ring sculpture is a perfect way of marking this significance while attracting more people to visit the site, bringing positive economic benefits to the area.”

The installation will be engraved with carefully chosen words and sayings.

When opened in 2018, visitors will be able to walk on the sculpture and enjoy elevated views across the estuary and of the castle.

George King of George King Architects Ltd said: “The sculpture will take a balanced form, some buried, to demonstrate the unstable nature of the Crown.”

A spokesman for Cadw, the historic environment service for Wales, said: “Art divides opinions and can be interpreted in many ways. Combining history, art and place can lead to powerful emotions and passions.

“These plans are about investing in Flint and increasing visitor numbers and growing the economy.

“The sculpture provides a unique opportunity to promote Welsh steel and tell powerful stories that continue to shape our lives today.

“We’ll to listen to views on this important project as it evolves and ensure decisions over issues such as the words inscribed on the sculpture reflect local opinions and the complex and often difficult history of Wales.”

Begun in 1277, Flint was the first castles to be built in Wales by Edward I.

Its location marks the event where the crown was famously transferred from one medieval dynasty to another, as described in Shakespeare’s Richard II.

Other regeneration work will involve Flint’s RNLI, rugby club and football club to improve facilities, and work to develop visitor services at Flint Castle.

The petition can be found at petitions/no-to-flint-castle-s-planned-iron-ring