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29th Jun, 2022

Bronze Shakespeare may find home in Stratford at last

Stratford Editorial 1st Sep, 2017

A BRONZE sculpture of Shakespeare could finally have found a home.

Businessman Tony Bird has being trying to find a prominent position in Stratford for the life size statue – created by sculptor James Butler – for over two years.

Mr Bird – who is the chairman of property company Bird Group – originally planned to erect the £100,000 statue on the roundabout at the top of Bridge Street.

But concerns it would cause a distraction for drivers around the busy traffic junction saw the application withdrawn.

A second site at the junction of Sheep Street and the High Street, opposite the Town Hall, was also rejected amid concerns it would be out of keeping with the area and also a potential hazard to pedestrians.

After the second failure to find a home, Mr Bird – who is also chairman of the King Edward’s VI School and trustee of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust – concluded the sculpture would probably not find a place in Stratford,

But a new proposal has been put forward to locate the sculpture – which has been living in Mr Butler’s workshop for the last two years – near the birthplace in Henley Street.

Mr Bird said: “It’s a lovely spot, but it wasn’t available before. Shakespeare is what the town is about and visitors should be reminded of that.

“I would be delighted for the most famous person in Warwickshire to be honoured with his own statue. In Rome, Paris and London there are bronze statues of heroes everywhere you look. They add colour and interest. And what’s more, visitors can have pictures with Shakespeare with his childhood home in the background.”

If agreed the bronze would neighbour another landmark gifted by the Bird family – The Jester sculpture at the end of the street.

Stratford Town Council will discuss the proposal next week and the decision is set to be made in mid-October.

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