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The Liberty Statue

Liberty Statue

Leicester's landmark Liberty Statue has been put on display in its new home.

 
The statue, which used to be housed on top of the former Liberty Shoe Factory overlooking the River Soar was publicly revealed on its new home on 17 December 2008. It has been given pride of place on a 4.5-metre plinth on the Swan Gyratory roundabout, just a stone's throw from the site where it originally stood. 
 
The statue is on show again for the first time in five years after minor restoration work, as well as the installation of cables, lighting and plants on the roundabout. 
 
The new statue was publicly revealed in a ceremony marking the completion of the neighbouring Upperton Road Viaduct scheme – a prestigious project to replace the old viaduct with a new road, bridge and cycle path. The replacement of the statue is the culmination of work by Leicester City Council to reinstate it near to its original home.

 

Leicester City Council's cabinet member for regeneration and transport, Councillor Patrick Kitterick, said: "This was a popular landmark in Leicester for years, and I am delighted that it has been given pride of place in its new home on the side of the River Soar. It is great to combine the statue's new home with the official launch of the new Upperton Road project, which has helped regenerate one of the main routes into the city."

 

Liberty Statue

History of the Liberty Statue

 

Lennards Shoes factory was built on the corner of Eastern Boulevard and Upperton Road in 1919. The factory's directors had seen and been impressed by the original Statue of Liberty during their trip to New York in 1920, and on their return they commissioned a considerably reduced version from sculptor Joseph Herbert Morcom. The statue was carved from three pieces of stone at Morcom's workshop in The Newarke, Leicester.

 

Following the erection of the statue on the building, the firm became known as 'Liberty Shoes'. During the 1980s and 1990s, the building fell out of use and the statue was subject to deterioration and vandalism. It was restored before reinstatement in its new home in 2008.