William Collins: Giant memorial built without permission – BBC


A huge marble memorial featuring a solar-powered jukebox has been built in a city cemetery without permission.
The monument honouring William Collins, who died in Spain in 2020, is thought to have been erected about a week ago at Sheffield's Shiregreen Cemetery.
It is adorned with four Irish flags, boasts CCTV and is flanked by two life-sized statues of the 49-year-old.
Sheffield City Council said it was considering its next steps in light of its rules around memorials.
Videos of the monument, which also includes a stone seat engraved with the word "king" in gold block capitals, have amassed more than five million views on TikTok.
According to the Sheffield Star, the tribute to the dad of nine is made from Italian marble and weighs 37 tonnes.
Mr Collins was born in Athlone in County Westmeath, Ireland, and died on the island of Majorca on 7 July 2020, according to the memorial.
Rules set out by Sheffield City Council's bereavement service state memorials must be under 3ins (75mm) thick and no taller than 4.4ft (1.35m), with applicants required to provide details such as materials to be used and any proposed inscriptions before permission is given.
Councillor Alison Teal, executive member for sustainable neighbourhoods, wellbeing, parks and leisure, said: "This memorial was built without permission and we are currently considering our next steps.
"We understand memorials are deeply personal, however we must have rules in place to ensure fairness."
One visitor to the cemetery, Mandy Stratford, said she had seen the memorial while going to a loved one's grave and was aware people were travelling to the cemetery just to have a look at it.
"I think it's beautiful. It doesn't offend me at all and I think it'd be a shame if they did take it down," she said.
"I don't think it's offending anybody in the position it's in. If it was in the middle near everyone's loved ones I could understand it."
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Sheffield City Council
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