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Stainless steel Junkers Stuka dive bomber is a new exhibit at Burghley House Sculpture Garden

A Second World War plane has arrived at Burghley Park ready for a new exhibition taking place over the coming months.

The original-sized Junkers JU 87 B Stuka dive bomber is made from more than five tonnes of stainless steel and is a dramatic addition to Burghley's Sculpture Garden.

It is one of several installations arriving at the garden over the next few weeks as part of the Form and Function exhibition.

The original-sized Junkers JU 87 B Stuka (8421200)
The original-sized Junkers JU 87 B Stuka (8421200)

Created by a German sculptor known as 'Hex', the Stuka sculpture was inspired by his father who joined the Luftwaffe aged 17 and spent three years training to be a Stuka pilot - although he instead became a gunner.

From 1943 to 1946 Hex's father was a prisoner of war in British and American camps and then worked as an interpreter for the British and American military until 1988.

Hex said: "The whole project can be separated into three layers of reasons why I did this sculpture. These layers of private family history, German art history and British military history added up one by one over the years."

He added: "Between age of eight and 14 I received six scale models of a Junkers JU 87 Stuka as a gift from my father.

"The Stuka was the only single object he was possessed by. It was the only thing he really loved, and the only 'thing' that had a personal deeper meaning to him."

In 1980 he bought plans for a Stuka in scale 1:5 in America for his son, which Hex used to inform his work.

The Stuka sculpture, called Down Two Earth, has a 14m wingspan, is 11m long and features a ripped-off under carriage.

Nearby RAF Wittering was attacked five times by the Luftwaffe in 1940 but Burghley House was spared.

Hermann Göring, commander of the Luftwaffe, had visited the stately home in 1930 and gave an order to spare it from bombing so he could steal the interior after the invasion of England.

The Sculpture Garden at Burghley Park is open between 11am and 5pm (last admission 4:30pm) until November 3.

An official launch of Form and Function will take place soon, including a guide to the new sculptures on show.

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