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Harry Potter statue to be unveiled in London’s Leicester Square

‘The Harry Potter series has delighted fans of all ages for decades and we hope that this will continue to bring people joy,’ spokesperson says 

Roisin O'Connor
Thursday 17 September 2020 10:41 BST
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An official Harry Potter statue will be unveiled in London’s Leicester Square later this month, it has been announced.

The statue, created by sculptor Andrzej Szymczyk, is the latest in the “Scenes in the Square” trail, joining the likes of Laurel & Hardy, Bugs Bunny, Gene Kelly as seen in Singin’ in the Rain, Mary Poppins, Mr Bean, and Paddington.

It depicts actor Daniel Radcliffe in his famous role, in a Quidditch scene from the first film adaptation, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

The statue will be placed in Leicester Square’s north terrace, near the location of the franchise’s debut world premiere in 2001.

Josh Berger, president of Harry Potter global franchise development at Warner Bros, commented: “Statues in this impressive installation represent some of the most iconic characters and actors in movie history, and we are delighted to see Harry Potter soaring across the Square.

“The Harry Potter series has delighted fans of all ages for decades and we hope that this will continue to bring people joy.”

Sculptor Andrzej Szymczyk works on a lifelike statue of Harry Potter (as portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe), which will be placed in London's Leicester Square (Press image)

The announcement comes amid ongoing controversy surrounding author JK Rowling’s stance on transgender people.

An independent bookshop in Australia recently said it would no longer stock the Harry Potter series due to her views, which many have deemed transphobic. Rowling has denied that her comments were transphobic.

Perth bookshop Rabble Books and Games wrote on Facebook that it will “not put books by transphobes on the shelves”, and solicited suggestions for alternative children’s fare to replace the popular wizard-themed novels.

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“We know that HP means a lot to a lot of people and that often you want to share them with the youngsters in your life. We will always be happy to order them in for you, as with any books we don’t stock. For any we do sell, we’ll be donating our profits to [Australian organisation TransFolk of WA],” its statement said.

Radcliffe himself responded to Rowling’s past comments by writing an essay in support of the trans community, which was posted on the website of The Trevor Project, a non-profit organisation dedicated to crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ people.

“It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm,” he wrote.

He explained that while Rowling was “unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken... as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment”.

“To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you,” he said.

“If you found anything in these stories that resonated with you and helped you at any time in your life – then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred.”

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