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Statues 'Come to Life' with the Scan of a Smartphone
August 24, 2014

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If the statues could talk … Well, now they do, sort of.

A new project by the non-profit Sing London has tapped 35 statues in London and Manchester with the ability to "talk," meaning that visitors who use their smartphones to scan a digital code can hear a special message recorded by members or affiliates of the group (including well-known actors and comedians) purporting to be the people

depicted in the statues. It's not a conversation but a monologue. So anyone hearing the two-minute message can talk back but not get a reasoned response. Still, many visitors to a Queen Victoria statue might be delighted to hear that the queen is getting tired of holding up a heavy scepter.

Among the statues so far "talking" are these in London:

  • Achilles
  • Ariel & Prospero (from Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream)
  • the Broad family (a family-sized group of family-sized statues)
  • Isambard Brunel (engineer and railroad pioneer)
  • the Eye-I sculpture
  • Rowland Hill (early proponent of the pre-paid postage stamp)
  • Hodge the Cat
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Hugh Myddelton (a 17th Century engineer and goldsmith)
  • Isaac Newton
  • Peter Pan
  • the Unknown Soldier
  • Dick Whittington's cat
  • John Wilkes (an 18th Century politician)
  • and general statues of a goat, a couple on a seat, and a crowd at rush hour

and in Manchester:

  • John Barbirolli (renowned musical conductor)
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • L.S. Lowry (well-known artist, famous for match-stick people and animals)
  • Alan Turing (famous mathematician and scientist)
  • Queen Victoria
  • the Reading Girl (who sits, reading, outside Manchester Central Library).


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