The show-stopping Raging Bull which formed the centrepiece at the opening ceremony of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 has been granted a new home after months of uncertainty about the future of the much-loved sculpture.  

Birmingham New Street Station is set to be the new permanent home of the gigantic bull this summer. 

Crafted and constructed in the Black Country and showcased at the city’s Commonwealth Games opening ceremony last summer, the iconic sculpture – dubbed ‘Raging Bull’ – represented a message of female emancipation, the contribution of immigrant and working-class workers who worked in the fiery mills and factories of the Black Country, and Birmingham’s little known connection to the Slave Trade.

The raging Birmingham bull symbolised working class sacrifice and slaveryBirmingham 2022
The Birmingham Raging Bull symbolised working class sacrifice and slavery

The Raging Bull received a rapturous reception but was facing a very uncertain future after the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 ended last August.

The original plan was to dismantle the structure after a temporary display in Centenary Square and then send it to the scrapheap but this decision was met with shock and universal public disapproval.

The iconic sculpture attracted around four million visitors during its eight week stay in Centenary Square while fans of the Raging Bull took to social media to start a campaign to save the much-loved public work of art from being taken apart and scrapped at the end of September 2022.

Network Rail confirmed today that plans are afoot to save and house the spectacular steam-punk Raging Bull, which stands 10-metres high and weighs 2.5-tonnes, at the atrium inside New Street Station.

A photographic impression has been released by Network Rail showing what the atrium will look like once the Raging Bull has been installed at the location.

Birmingham City Council arranged talks with partners with a view to a long term plan in which the Raging Bull could be saved and a new space found where the eye-catching structure could be put on permanent view.

Birmingham's Ranging Bull saved from destruction, new home found at New Street StationWali Taylor
Birmingham’s Ranging Bull was put on temporary display in Centenary Square last year

One of the proposals was to house the Raging Bull inside the HS2 station at Curzon Street once the building project had been completed at the site.

However, the new plan is to give the Raging Bull a makeover to transform it into a static sculpture – the original design incorporated animatronic features which included glowing red eyes and smoke bellowing from it’s nostrils – and place the massive sculpture under the roof of the atrium inside New Street Station.

The new design will have to undergo safety checks to ensure it meets building and fire regulations before being unveiled later this year.

The Commonwealth bull was a huge hit with people at the opening ceremony and is currently on display in Centenary SquareWali Taylor
Around four million people flocked to see the Raging Bull on display in Centenary Square

Peter Hendy, chair of Network Rail, said: “As soon as the Raging Bull appeared in the Commonwealth Games’ Opening Ceremony it captivated the nation, cementing itself as an icon for host city Birmingham.

“When the opportunity came to provide a permanent home for this brilliant artwork, there could be no better place than Birmingham New Street’s huge concourse and atrium, which welcomed 1.4 million people during the multi-sport event last summer.”

Ian Reid, chief executive of Birmingham 2022, said: “The response to the Raging Bull both in Birmingham and beyond was incredible and all Games partners have been keen to ensure that we were able to permanently display this Birmingham 2022 icon in the host city.”

Andy Street, West Midlands mayor, shared a photo on his Facebook page showing support for the beloved bullAndy Street
Andy Street, West Midlands mayor, shared a photo on his Facebook page showing support for the beloved Raging Bull

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games were a spectacular moment of collective celebration right across our region and nothing captured public imagination quite like that magnificent Bull.

“That’s why it’s such wonderful news that it will soon be making its triumphant return to Brum, taking pride of place within our iconic New Street Station.

Cllr Ian Ward with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Bull BBCBBC
Cllr Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, is delighted with news of the Raging Bull being saved

Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “It’s fantastic that we have been able to find a home for the Raging Bull in the heart of the proud host city for Birmingham 2022.

“There were many stars during our unforgettable summer of sport and culture – but none were bigger and bolder than the bull.

“I can’t wait to see the bull back in Birmingham in such a prominent place.”

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