Famous Four of Leicester Square Ready to Show Their Faces Again

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Parsons

MARBLE busts of four famous Britons are to return to Leicester Square after an outcry when they were removed during a [pounds sterling]15 million makeover.

The sculptures of William Hogarth, Sir Joshua Reynolds, John Hunter and Sir Isaac Newton were put into storage during the square's redevelopment, which finished this year.

Westminster council had said the Grade II-listed sculptures were "fairly weatherbeaten" and could be put in a museum or library. But it has now decided to send them back to their old home, after historians said that not doing so would be a "great crime".

Council officials are now preparing a tender to build a new booth selling tickets to West End shows. The winning bidder will be asked to find the most striking way of displaying the busts, which could be behind glass or set into a recess. They will stay in storage until work on the building, due to start in spring, is completed.

Westminster deputy leader Robert Davis said: "We are looking for a design which keeps the busts in the public eye. They have a long association with the square, so we look forward to restoring them to their proper prominence. …


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