Watch Unveiling of World’s First David Bowie Statue
The world’s first statue to David Bowie has been unveiled in the English town where he first performed in his Ziggy Stardust persona.
Created after a successful crowdfunding campaign, the bronze sculpture, titled “Earthly Messenger,” has been placed in the market square of Aylesbury. You can watch the moment it was first shown to the public above.
The statue was the brainchild of promoter David Stopps, who works with the famous Friars venue in the town. Bowie staged the world debuts of his Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust albums at Friars in 1971 and 1972, and Stopps said the town had retained close links with the artist until his death in 2015. "The reaction to the statue has been so positive," Stopps told the BBC. "When you get something like this, people either love it or hate it. If people say 'I hate it' or 'I absolutely love it,' then you know it's real art. That's the definition of art."
Rob Stringer, the CEO of Sony Music, said he expected the memorial to be a single image of Bowie, but was surprised to discover it depicted several different stages of his long career, including Ziggy Stardust and The Man Who Fell to Earth. “It’s actually a complete compendium of his life," Stringer said. "To work with him on the last two records was very emotional, but I got to work with somebody who, when I was growing up in Aylesbury in the ‘70s, was the pop culture legend."
The statue also features a webcam with speakers that play a Bowie song every hour between 9AM and 9PM. The unveiling over the weekend was followed by a fundraising event headlined by Marillion, with the aim of helping bring in a further £50,000 to add to the £115,000 already gathered.
Stopps recently launched a campaign to have Aylesbury renamed “Aylesbowie,” arguing that the town had already changed its name nearly 60 times in known history. A spokesman for the local authority called it “an interesting idea” and suggested it could be a temporary title, “just for one day.”