A MUSEUM threw out a controversial golden sculpture only for a resident to find it in a rubbish heap.

Ian Done spotted the remnants of the sculpture, known as The Sleep of Reason, outside The Commandery museum, in Sidbury, Worcester.

The sculpture consisted of three scaffolding poles, gilded in 24-carat gold leaf, and first went on display in the museum's courtyard in 2010.

Mr Done saw the poles in a pile of rubbish in July and described it as a 'sad end' for the sculpture.

Bosses decided to dispose of The Sleep of Reason partly because The Commandery's courtyard is now frequently used for events.

They offered to return the poles to the two artists that made them, and to Meadow Arts - which commissioned the work - but neither took up the offer.

Mr Done, aged 75, of Tay Avenue, Worcester, said: "It says it all that they didn't want it back. It's a waste of money.

"They were in a builders' scrap yard next to the [museum's] maintenance shed. There's been lots of work going on down there.

"There was controversy when they were first put up. They didn't represent the civil war.

"It was rapidly taken down within two weeks. They were put in the maintenance shed.

"It wasn't treated like a piece of artwork from that week."

Mr Done added that he supports efforts to boost awareness about Worcester's role in the English Civil War but said the sculpture was 'not fooling anyone'.

The artwork was funded by Arts Council England and the Elmley Foundation, as part of the Meadow Arts rural commissioning programme.

Helen Large, marketing and events manager of Museums Worcestershire, said: "The artists and Meadow Arts were asked if they would like to keep the physical elements of the work exhibited at The Commandery (the scaffold poles) to reuse in future displays of the piece. That offer was not taken up.

"After investigating various suitable cost-effective options, the scaffold poles were disposed of in July of this year as part of the work to improve the visitor experience at The Commandery and creation of new displays on Worcester's Civil War Story, which can now be enjoyed by residents and visitors to the city."

Ms Large added that Meadow Arts supported the disposal of the poles, which have weathered over time.