A ROMAN mosaic which will not be put on display in Colchester due to a power cable has sparked criticism of a council for having "given up" on the project. 

The Gazette revealed earlier this week the mosaic, which is believed to be nearly 2,000 years old.

Due to a nearby high-voltage cable costs for its removal would entail significant costs, according to council bosses and “far exceed the allocated budget for this project.” 

This unfortunate fate had readers saddened, as a crucial part of the city’s history might never see the light of day. 

One reader said: “In any other town/city in Britain this would be preserved and celebrated for generations to come.” 

Another reader added, how a display could have benefited the city, saying “They underestimate the value of displaying the find. Tourism far outweighs the cost of moving the cable.” 

MP Will Quince has also waded into the debate.

He said: “Like so many residents I was excited when the Council first announced a plan to unveil a Roman mosaic for all to see and so I am very disappointed to read that Colchester Council appears to have given up on this project. 

Gazette: Transformed - Colchester MP Will Quince has lost six stone in a year. Picture: Nikki Powell

“I understand that in recent history a power cable was placed on top of the mosaic and I will be asking UK Power Networks, who maintain electrical infrastructure, how we can resolve this challenge and help Colchester Council see this project through.” 

A spokesman for Colchester Council defended the decision.

They said: “We understand the disappointment and frustration expressed regarding the decision to postpone the permanent display of the Roman mosaic. We share a passion for preserving our city's rich heritage and for showcasing its unique historical significance. 

“We want to assure you that the decision to pause the project was not taken lightly. The council recognises the immense value of the mosaic and the potential impact it could have on tourism and the city's cultural identity. However, we also have a responsibility to operate within the constraints of our financial resources, especially during these challenging times. 

“The unexpected discovery of the high-voltage cable presented a significant obstacle that would require substantial infrastructural modifications beyond the project's allocated budget. 

“While we recognise the potential tourism boost and educational value of displaying the mosaic, we cannot justify diverting additional funds from essential services and infrastructure projects that directly impact the daily lives of our residents. 

“We remain committed to preserving and showcasing Colchester's Roman heritage and will continue to engage with the community to ensure that our heritage is preserved for future generations.”