Statue Unveiling Delayed As Location Is Reconsidered

By Roslyn Tappenden | 23 September 2004
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  • Archived article
shows a statue of three frock-coated men looking at and discussing paper documents

Three great industrial pioneers; Boulton, Watt and Murdoch. Picture © Birmingham City Council.

Plans to unveil the newly gilded statue of Boulton, Watt and Murdoch in Centenary Square have been put on hold while councillors consider an alternative location.

The statue, originally situated outside the registry office on Broad Street, was removed earlier this year to be gilded.

It was due to be re-situated in Centenary Square this month to replace the controversial ‘Forward’ statue that was destroyed by arsonists last year.

shows a large smoke-charred statue on a plinth in a city square - two firemen are walking away from the charred remains.

The controversial fibre-glass statue 'Forward' after its attack by arsonists. Picture © Birmingham City Council.

However Cllr Nigel Dawkins, who resigned as cabinet member for leisure, sport and culture on September 7, had been considering moving the monument to Millennium Point, the site of Thinktank, Birmingham's museum of science.

His successor, Cllr John Alden, is looking at the options but has not yet decided whether to follow Cllr Dawkins lead.

A council spokesperson said: “Planning permission has been obtained to put the statue in Centenary Square, however Cllr Alden is currently looking at a number of projects that he has inherited from Cllr Dawkins, so no decision has been made at this time.”

The statue, sometimes nicknamed ‘The Carpet Salesmen’, depicts three of the city's industrial pioneers; Matthew Boulton, James Watt and William Murdoch.

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