BBC to Erect George Orwell Statue

George Orwell has fans all across the globe, spanning content to content. Several of his novels and short stories, such as Animal Farm or 1984, are still taught in schools, decades after being published. Though Orwell passed away, his work lives on through the many scholars and literature buffs who admire him. All such fans, though, are about to have a brand new reason to visit his stomping grounds in London.

The BBC announced plans to erect a statue of Orwell outside its company headquarters in London.  Before finding success as a novelist, Orwell spent two years working as a journalist for BBC. He quit in 1943, two years before the publication of Animal Farm, which rocketed him to literary stardom. It is hardly surprising that someone such as Orwell, who was known for promoting decidedly left-wing tendencies in his writing, would not have been happy working for a large corporation. He considered his years spent there a “waste of time” and not feel that his work produced any real results, according to The Telegraph

The Telegraph also reveals that four years ago, the former president of BBC refused to approve the idea of erecting a statue to Orwell, on the grounds that such a figure would be viewed as too left-wing. Many company members objected to this, prompting BBC Director General Lord Hall to grant his permission.  Recently, the Westminster City Council agreed to the project. The statue will be designed by Martin Jennings, who is responsible for several well-known statues throughout London, including that of Sir. John Betjamin (below). The bronze for the statue will soon be cast.

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Jennings is certainly happy with his assignment. As he stated in a recent article “Orwell was not only a paragon of political journalism but an ideal subject for a sculptor: loomingly tall, skinny as a rake, forever fag in hand, body leaning in to make a point.” The statue is funded primarily by private donors, totaling roughly 110,000 pounds. Sadly, Benjamin Whitaker, who first proposed the idea for the statue, passed away two years ago and will not see it completed. 

If all goes according to plan, the statue will be unveiled next year and everyone will be able to pay their respects to Orwell in statue form. We look forward to seeing the work in its completion. It promises to become a London landmark.


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