Coventry & Warwickshire

New Shakespeare sculpture for Stratford-upon-Avon

Portrait of William Shakespeare Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Stratford is planning a host of commemorations for its famous son

An American artist is giving a life-sized sculpture of William Shakespeare to Stratford-upon-Avon to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death.

The town's councillors are set to accept the gift from actor and director Lawrence Holofcener at a meeting later.

Holofcener previously planned to loan the sculpture to the council, but revised his offer to a gift.

The "interactive" statue of the Bard on a bench is set to be put in Bancroft Gardens next month.

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The sculpture is being kept under wraps until it is installed in the town and unveiled on 23 February, to mark Holofcener's 90th birthday.

Image copyright Lawrence Holofcener
Image caption Lawrence Holofcener has given the Shakespeare sculpture to Stratford

"People should be able to take selfies with Shakespeare with the RSC [Royal Shakespeare Company] theatre in the background," a council spokesman said.

Holofcener is the sculptor behind the famous Allies piece in Bond Street, London, where people can sit between life-sized sculptures of Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt.

Image copyright Camden New Journal
Image caption The Allies sculpture is a popular tourist attraction, said the council

The artwork is "not only believed to be the most photographed sculpture in the country, but is also now seen as one of London's key tourist attractions", the council said.

The 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, who was born in Stratford in 1564, will be marked in the town and around the world.

Among events, actor David Tennant is to host a live TV celebration of the playwright's contribution to the UK's cultural heritage from the RSC in April.

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