A statue of Igor, the doleful, hunchbacked butler from the classic bygone ITV cartoon series, Count Duckula, will be far from the most uplifting exhibit on display at the Museum of Science and Industry this summer.
The statue’s salvation has been heroic. Rescued in 2009 from the Cosgrove Hall animation studios in Chorlton, where it manned the entrance hall alongside a mock-up of fellow Duckula character Nanny, Igor is being restored by conservators in Manchester ahead of an appearance in a major animation exhibition opening this summer.
© Jan Hicks / MOSI
“This has been an interesting project,” says Frances Keating, the museum’s Collections Care Officer.
“Igor had sustained some fairly significant injuries.
“He has already had conservation to reattach a severed limb, and will need further work to fill holes and reinstate losses to the paint layers.
“Conservation usually focuses on the preservation requirements of an object rather than bringing it back to its original state, so it’s been particularly enjoyable to restore an object in which the goal is to ensure it retains its instantly recognisable persona.”
Created by Brian Cosgrove and his creative team, Count Duckula ran between 1988 and 1993, and retains cult cartoon status more than 20 years later.
© Jan Hicks / MOSI
Igor was constantly disappointed by the antics of the vegetarian count, who pursued fame and fortune rather than the elusiveness expected of a true vampire.
“It’s a joy to see Igor fully restored and looking his usual disapproving self,” says Westley Wood, who saved Igor from the skip in 2010 and gave him a temporary home in his office at ITV studios.
“Before restoration began he looked like an unkempt animated vagabond, which is no guise for a trusty butler of Count Ducklula.
“I’m glad the MOSI have helped us save him from permanent retirement. He will be on show for all to meet and enjoy.”
Danger Mouse and Wind in the Willows also feature in the exhibition. Igor will stand at the entrance.
- Creating the Illusion: Animation in the North West opens at the Museum of Science and Industry on June 22 2013.