• 05:10
  • 20.08.2017

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'World-first' statue of Jane Austen unveiled on 200th anniversary

'World-first' statue of Jane Austen unveiled on 200th anniversary

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On the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, what's believed to be the first ever statue of the author will be unveiled.

A life-sized bronze figure has been created by sculptor Adam Roud, CNN reports, with plans for the statue to stand in Steventon, in the south of England, where Austen was born in 1775.

A challenge for any artist, since there's only one confirmed portrait of the author, a watercolour by her sister Cassandra which hangs in London's National Portrait Gallery. 
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Roud stated that the statue, which took five months to complete, was instead "my own interpretation of her". The existing watercolour, "has been hovering in the back of my mind," he admitted. "But really I'd have preferred if that painting hadn't existed at all."

"For the sculpture," he continued. "I wanted a believable figure of a woman walking through the town square. No doubt I'll be praised by some and criticized by others". 

The statue reveal is all part of a series of events, including a flower festival and several exhibitions, that will also be held locally to mark the bicentenary of Austen's death. A new £10 note, and limited edition £2 coin, are also being released in commemoration.
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