A giant rock erected on campus has been branded an “obscene waste” after details of its cost were uncovered by York Vision.
University alumni and donors spared no expense in commissioning and creating the ‘Singing Stone’ sculpture, which costed over £83,000.
This included the cost of transporting the rock from Cornwall, all the way to its current location close to the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall.
The bill for the stone’s unveiling was met by the university to the tune of £608, covering the cost of gold foil fabric and plaques.
The figures came to light following an investigation made by York Vision under the Freedom of Information Act.
Second-year student Lauren Malcharek said: “This is an obscene waste of money for something that will only impact on a minority of people.
“The university should be spending money on things that affect daily student life.”
However, the university registrar and secretary David Duncan defended the lavish spending, saying: “We want to make the York campus as attractive as possible.
“One aspect of this is to site pieces of sculpture at key locations.
“According to your email, external sponsors have contributed £83,390 to ensure that the Singing Stones sculpture finds a permanent home at York.
“Under the circumstances, the University’s contribution of £608 is a wise investment.
“I hope that this work of art proves stimulating to students, staff and visitors for many years to come.”
YUSU President Ben Leatham said: “University of York alumni donated over £80,000 into the creation of the sculpture.
“Organising an unveiling that met the expectations of those alumni was very important. Having said that, £608 is a lot of money.
“It is hugely important that the University keeps unnecessary spending to an absolute minimum.”
Unveiled on June 13, the original sculpture was commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Department of Music.