Sherlock Holmes and the mystery of the missing statue is solved

IT IS more than 70 years since Sherlock Holmes solved his last case, but he is still sent more than 40 letters a month to his rooms in Baker Street.

One of the most enduring mysteries, however, is how this most famous of detectives came to be commemorated in Japan, Switzerland and Edinburgh but never by his home at 221B.

The answer, when it finally emerged, was elementary, my dear Watson - nobody had ever got round to it. But now, more than 60 years after the death of author G K Chesterton, who was the first to suggest a statue of the sleuth, planning permission for one has been granted to the Sherlock Holmes Society.

A three-metre-high bronze statue is to be unveiled outside Baker Street Underground Station this autumn. It is thought to be only the second statue of a fictional character in the capital (joining Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens), and is certainly the first time that a self-confessed drug addict has been honoured in this way. Holmes was not only a habitual opium smoker, but also admitted to taking cocaine three times a day when bored.

He is to stand in his customarily haughty pose, pipe in hand and instantly recognisable by - in the words of his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - "the poise of the head, the squareness of the shoulders, the sharpness of his features".

Peter Horrocks, of the Sherlock Holmes Society, led the campaign for a statue. He said members were adamant that passers-by should immediately know it was Sherlock.

"We wanted him standing up and in a classic and recognisable pose, with the deerstalker, pipe and greatcoat," he said. In fact, the author himself never mentioned any of these items, which originated in the work of the illustrator Sidney Paget.

"We are a literary society and therefore more concerned with the stories, but we were aware of what the public expects when they think of Sherlock Holmes, and we went along with that," Mr Horrocks added.

But some residents are against the pounds 110,000 tribute. The St Marylebone Society fears it will increase congestion and attract vandals. "The statue is in front of Baker Street Tube, which is in Marylebone Road and not very appropriate. It should have been in Baker Street itself, which is much quieter," said a spokeswoman.

The statue was designed by John Doubleday, who also created a monument in Switzerland at the Reichenbach Falls; the scene of Holmes's fight to the death with Professor Moriarty. He said: "They have been talking about this statue for such a long time; it is almost as if people have a subconscious desire to make him real. The work is of a crime-solver on guard over the metropolis, reassuring passers-by that right triumphs in the end."

Professor Moriarty would not have approved. He once spoke of a "dastardly plot to undermine the morale of criminal London" and would doubtless view a permanent statue of his arch enemy in the same way.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Arts and Entertainment
British author Howard Jacobson has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Systems Analyst (Technical, UML, UI)

£30000 - £40000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Cost Reporting-MI Packs-Edinburgh-Bank-£350/day

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...

Senior Private Client Solicitor - Gloucestershire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - We are makin...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Support Developer

£50000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A unique and rare opport...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn