This week’s column is brought to you in three dimensions instead of the usual two, because I want to say a thing or two about statues and sculptures.

Now you might think that 3D art is a subject that doesn’t touch most people, but think again.

You may have seen in the news last week that a statue of George Best, one of the world’s greatest ever footballers – and some would say THE best – has been unveiled in his native Belfast, with some controversy.

Funnily enough, I was in Belfast recently and made the effort to visit the childhood home of the legendary Manchester United and Northern Ireland player.

After all, he is the best footballer I have seen in the flesh, although ironically on the wrong end of a 5-0 thrashing when his team, Fulham, came to the County Ground in 1977.

Best’s fans were probably just as disappointed with his new statue, because the general feeling was – and I cannot disagree – it is a terrible likeness.

Statues of footballers often are, and for some reason the greatest players in the history of the game are usually honoured with something that looks nothing like them.

Both Ronaldo and Maradona have also had statues supposedly fashioned in their likeness, but which even their mothers would struggle to recognise.

Bizarrely, another ‘nothing-like-him’ statue, this time of Michael Jackson, also found its way into the National Football Museum, until it was recently removed.

What is it about football and sculpture?

The Best statue controversy is also timely because I have just visited the Cotswold Sculpture Park at Somerford Keynes, where you are confronted, the moment you arrive at the reception, by an old Morris Minor on top of a tree made out of old car parts.

“Call that art?” I can hear some people moaning, but if you ask me, this brilliant sculpture is one of the best public works of art I have set eyes on, almost on a par with the magnificent Angel of the North, and the giant horse heads, known as The Kelpies, in Falkirk, Scotland, which I love.

The Cotswold Sculpture Park (sometimes confusingly also referred to as the Elemental Sculpture Park) has plenty of other great artworks, too.

That’s my opinion, anyway, although you may disagree, perhaps fervently.

For some reason, people seem to have strong feelings about 3D art, especially when they suspect public money has been spent on it.

Most Swindonians old enough to remember the stark concrete modern artwork that stood in The Parade when I was a boy are still trying to get over how bad they thought it was.

But if you don’t remember that, never mind – because the water feature at the other end of The Parade, where it joins Bridge Street/Regent Street, is considered almost as outrageous, although I can’t say I dislike it.

Indeed, for every bad work of public art, there are at least two or three excellent ones, and Swindon is no exception.

In this category are Carleton Attwood’s The Watchers, at Toothill; the railings outside the Town Hall, by Avril Wilson; and the First World War memorial in Faringdon Road Park, by Mike Pringle.

They all add colour to our lives, and are just the first that spring to my mind, yet you can be sure that most people will be far keener to tell you about the ones they don’t like, rather than the ones they do.

There is only one thing we can all agree on, which is only a fool would try to carve out a career as a sculptor and expect to be thanked for it.