THE Yorkshire Sculpture Park gave a right royal welcome to the Duke of Kent as he toured it as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations.
The duke toured the park at West Bretton yesterday with the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe and local councillors.
He visited the park’s Bothy Gallery first, before moving on to the garden gallery and then on to the formal terrace to view sculptures by Elisabeth Frink.
The party then moved up to the Underground Gallery, which is showing an exhibition by British artist Andy Goldsworthy featuring large stone, clay and tree installations.
It is the largest exhibition hosted by the park and the biggest created by the artist.
Park spokeswoman Jan Wells said: “The exhibition has boosted our visitor numbers, despite the bad weather we’ve had. It has proved extremely popular.
“It is one of the recent developments, along with the visitors’ centre. The park was founded in 1977 and has seen a lot of changes since then. This was a chance to show the duke the developments that have taken place.”
After viewing the exhibition the duke and his party had a lunch at the park.
During his tour, the duke met the park’s executive director and founder, Peter Murray. He was instrumental in the controversial move to open up private land belonging to Bretton Hall teacher training college to the public, when the park was founded.
Mr Murray said: “We are absolutely delighted by the royal visit and the opportunity it affords to demonstrate the sculpture park’s investment, development and success over the last 30 years.
“It is difficult to find any site in the world that can compete with the setting and scale. The royal visit adds significance to our achievements and celebrations.”