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28 October 2014

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The silent observers
The reclining Woman
Taking it easy: the Reclining Woman
Though they often seem to blend into the background much of Leeds' heritage is tied up in the sculptures about town. The city boasts a wide collection of public art, including remnants of Leeds' past dating back to Victorian times.

Sculpture trail 2
Millennium Square
Arthur Aaron

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Modern sculpture also makes an important contribution to public life - it is seen as the ultimate symbol of urban regeneration.

Interest in public art is growing, so expect to see more examples springing up in the near future - including additions to the new millennium sculpture on Eastgate roundabout.

Each sculpture has its own story to tell, so take a virtual tour of some that you've probably seen before...

What better place to start than with the famous figures and equestrian sculpture in Leeds City Square?

The Black Prince
The Black Prince
Thomas Brook, 1903

Leeds' famous Black Prince in City Square was a gift from Colonel Thomas Walter Harding, Lord Mayor of Leeds between 1898-9.

Despite having no connection with Leeds, the son of King Edward III became the landmark that greets visitors arriving at the city station.

The King was the personal choice of Harding, who believed he symbolised the virtues of democracy and chivalry.

The Black Prince is the centrepiece of an array of statues in the square, which include Joseph Priestley, the father of modern chemistry.

From here, head along Infirmary Street towards Bond Court, behind Est Est Est.

Game of Boules
Game of Boules
Roger Burnett, 2000

This bronze sculpture in Bond Court depicts a Yorkshire couple and their child watching a Frenchman playing boules.

Before the unveiling of this sculpture few people were aware that the patch of grey gravel it stands next to is actually a boules court.

Instructions and boules are available at the court, so you need never have a lazy lunch hour again.

Up to the Headrow for our next sculptures...

The Reclining Woman
The Reclining Woman
Henry Moore, 1929

This eye-catching lady has been luring people into the Leeds Art Gallery since she was given to them in 1980 by the Henry Moore Institute.

During his lifetime Castleford-born Moore studied at Leed College of Art and received an Orderof Merit in 1963.

One of the most famous sculptors of the 20th century, he believed sculpture was "the art of open air."

A lion at Leeds Town Hall
Four Lions
William Keyworth, 1867

The white lions guarding the Town Hall are thought to have been inspired by the lions carved on Nelson's.

The lions were added to the entrance nine years after it was officially opened by Queen Victoria.

Folklore says that the lions get up and walk around the building when they hear the clock strike twelve.

Now walk down the Headrow towards and past the Light.

Dortmund Drayman
The Dortmund Drayman
Arthur Schulze-Engels, 1980

Affectionately known as 'The Barrelman' this jolly figure is outside the St John's Centre.

The statue was a gift from Leeds' twin town Dortmund in 1980 and stands in the square of that name.

Now we head up past the Merrion Centre to Hyde Park for
more sculptures.

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