Manchester

Lowry statue installed at Manchester pub

LS Lowry statue
Image caption LS Lowry will now be a permanent fixture in the bar

Customers at a Manchester city centre pub are set to welcome a new regular - a life-size statue of artist LS Lowry.

The bronze statue has been created to sit at the bar of Sam's Chop House to mark the 35th anniversary of the painter's death.

It arrived at the pub off Cross Street on Monday after being created by sculptor Peter Hodgkinson.

Pub owner Roger Ward, who commissioned the work, said Lowry was a regular at Sam's when he worked nearby.

It was while the artist was employed as a debt collector at the Pall Mall Property Company building that he began frequenting the pub.

Hemingway statue

The statue, which weighs 300kg, was moved into place by a team of workmen on Monday and now has pride of place where Lowry stood as a customer.

Mr Ward said: "Lowry was a regular at Sam's for many years as his day job as a rent collector was based just around the corner at the Pall Mall Property Company.

"We have a history of supporting art projects at the Chop House, turning our public house into something a bit like an art house.

"This sculpture was something that I had in the back of my mind for a long time, probably ever since seeing the statue of Hemingway in the bar el Floridita in Havana, Cuba.

"I like the idea of making art accessible for everybody, having fun with it, and of encouraging local artists."

The idea for the sculpture, made by Preston-born Peter Hodgkinson, was inspired by a drawing by Salford artist Harold Riley of the pair having a Christmas lunch at the pub in the 1970s.

Lowry became famous for his scenes of daily life framed by the architecture of industrial northern England in the early part of the 20th Century.

Many of his paintings depicted the Salford area, where he lived and worked for more than 40 years. He died in 1976 at the age of 88.

The sculpture was being officially unveiled on Wednesday - the anniversary of his death.

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