Samuel Johnson, the 18th-century author of the first dictionary of English, is said to have had a particular fondness for his cat, named Hodge. And so, a museum dedicated to the famous man’s life and his achievements would not be complete without a reference to his beloved pet. That’s why in 1997, a statue showing a bronze figure of Johnson’s black cat was installed in front of Johnson’s house, which is now a museum. Hodge is shown sitting on top of a thick book which is, of course, Johnson’s dictionary.
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As Mayor of Newham I want to assure the residents of Upton Park that the statue, known as The Champions, which depicts the four footballers who played a huge role in winning the World Cup in 1966 for England, is to remain at its current location. We have cancelled our decision to move it to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. We respect the efforts made by local people to keep the statue. We acknowledge the role of this historic landmark in shaping the identity of football fans across the country, and realize that it has become an integral part of this neighbourhood. Therefore, I declare that Upton Park will remain the rightful home of The Champions.
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A statue of Agatha Christie is being planned for the small town of Wallingford, which has a museum dedicated to the famous crime writer. For many years, Agatha Christie lived in a village not far from the town, and the area is popular with her fans. The mayor of Wallingford has confirmed that the town council has applied for funding for the statue. It will represent the writer seated on a bench. The Agatha Christie Festival is held in the town every year. It is attended by many readers of her novels, who will certainly appreciate the statue.
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Liverpool can boast a magnificent attraction – a statue of The Beatles walking down a street towards the river. The legendary band played their first gigs at the nearby Cavern Club. Indeed, the club generously sponsored the creation of the bronze sculpture. After unveiling the statue, the Deputy Mayor of Liverpool said that the four world-famous musicians are so inseparably linked to the city that they certainly deserve a permanent place on the iconic waterfront. It is hoped that the monument will attract even more tourists and music enthusiasts to the city.
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A statue of a bear named Wojtek, who helped Polish troops during World War II, can be seen in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh. When he was a little cub, Wojtek lost his mother but was rescued and adopted by Polish soldiers. He was trained to carry ammunition on the battlefield. He was also a tremendous morale booster. Wojtek’s role was so vital that he was given a name, rank and serial number, just like any other soldier. After the war he lived in Edinburgh Zoo. The monument was created thanks to the generosity of many supporters. Some of them, just like Wojtek, the bear, had found a home in Scotland after the war.
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