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Islington Tribune - by ROISIN GADELRAB
Published: 4 September 2009

The Neighbours at its original unveiling
Birthday treat for The Neighbours

Restored statue to be unveiled at estate fun day marking its half-century

A HISTORIC statue has been restored to its former glory half a century after it was unveiled at Highbury Quadrant estate.
After falling into disrepair, the Grade II-listed The Neighbours statue has been restored, thanks to the efforts of residents, who organised a 200-name petition calling for it to be saved.
The repaired statue, by Viennese artist Siegfried Charoux, will be covered in brown paper and unwrapped by children from Highbury Quadrant at a fun day on Sunday.
In 1959, Mr Charoux was commissioned to create the sculpture for the grounds of Highbury Quadrant, built as a model estate five years earlier.
On Sunday, residents will be celebrating the estate and their neighbours at a fun day featuring a living history exhibition, bird box-making, a barbecue and a bouncy castle. The brief for a children’s contest will be to design a hat for the statue.
Residents began their save-the-statue campaign a year ago after a rusty hole appeared in the artwork. Islington Council and Homes for Islington funded the repairs.
Rebecca Hodgson, who was involved in the campaign, said: “We’re all so delighted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Neighbours statue coming to Highbury Quadrant.
“We can celebrate our campaign to get it successfully renovated. We collected a petition last year and I presented it at the council chamber. Then we worked with [council leader] Terry Stacy and Homes for Islington to push to get it done.” A plinth, explaining the history of the statue, will be fitted next to it and will be included on Islington’s heritage trail.
Homes for Islington board director Jessie White said: “We helped fund the restoration of The Neighbours sculpture, located in the heart of Highbury Quadrant estate. We are pleased to unveil it in time to celebrate its 50th anniversary.”
The fun day runs from noon to 4pm on Sunday, with the statue unveiled at 3pm.

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