Capodimonte porcelain has been chosen to display a life size display of moulded figurines as the new artwork for the Fourth Plinth in London's Trafalgar Square. The sculpture depicts an impoverished Romany family comprising husband and wife, grandmother and a malnourished child.
Titled 'Fuck Off Home', the 4.72m high piece will be on display for 3 months or until immigration services find the relevant paper work to deport it.
Covered in layers of grime and displaying a mixture of no hope and abandonment, the sculpture was unveiled by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, on Thursday.
The public sculpture, said Mr Johnson, "doesn't just prove that we're the uncaring capital, but we are also the artistic and cultural capital of the world".
"It is a tour de force of false hopes against stark reality," he told BBC London.
"In fact It makes Tracey Emin's 'Unmade Bed' look like the aftermath of a top notch night at the Ritz."
One London-based conservation group had tried to stop the figurines from being displayed.
"Lord Nelson didn't do battle with Napoleon so that hordes of rough sleepers should take root at the foot of his column."
The Thorney Island Society wrote to Westminster Council in protest, branding the sculpture "totally inappropriate".
But Justine Simons, director of the Fourth Plinth programme, said she was confident it would be a popular addition.
"We really love the striking depiction of poverty and the total despondency shown by each of the characters," she told BBC London.
"It's an everyday kind of object and one which thousands of visitors to London are familiar with. A regular bunch of street dwellers with a twist. Capodimonte has created something so realistic you can almost feel your pockets being picked as you look at it."