The 30ft sculpture, The Writer, will be on Parliament Hill for four months before returning to Italy. Great photo.
The tribute to the loneliness of writing is meant to inspire visitors to the heath, which has associations with writers Keats and Coleridge.
Leslie Mare, from the Corporation of London which runs the heath, said: “People seem to love it or hate it”.
Giancarlo Neri, who used to play soccer for New York Apollos in the seventies, chose the heath, one of London’s most popular parks, after hearing of its artistic heritage.
The Naples-born artist used six tons of steel and 1,000lb of wood to create the giant sculpture.
He said he wants people to interact with it, using it as a picnic spot or using the legs as goal posts.
When it was on display in Rome two homeless people were said to have lived underneath it.
Ms Mare told BBC News: “People talk about it, look at it, some people have even graffiti’d on it but it’s really engaged people.
“It’s almost a reminder of the heath’s hidden heroes, and hopefully will encourage new young budding artists and writers.”
The sculpture will be officially unveiled at a party on the heath on Wednesday, during the first week of Art Fortnight London.