Harry Potter statue unveiled in London's Leicester Square
A statue of Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in flight has been unveiled in London’s Leicester Square.
The bronze figure depicts the moment the fictional wizard first took flight on his Nimbus 2000 broom over the Hogwarts quidditch pitch in the first instalment, Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone.
It was unveiled on Wednesday during a socially distanced ceremony hosted by TV presenter Alex Zane, and is expected to remain in the square until at least July 2023.
It features on the square’s north terrace, close to where the first film had its world premiere in November 2001.
Eight statues from the past 100 years, including Laurel and Hardy, Mary Poppins and Mr Bean, were erected in late February as part of a “statue trail”.
Zane said: “Harry Potter has brought so much joy to fans around the world and many like me have grown up with him, so it’s fantastic that he is taking his rightful place here in Leicester Square where I was lucky enough to host the series’ final premiere.
“I can’t think of a more deserving addition to Scenes In The Square.”
The project, titled Scenes In The Square, was delivered by the Heart of London Business Alliance, Westminster City Council and various film studios.
Ros Morgan, chief executive of Heart of London Business Alliance, said: “When we launched Scenes In The Square in February of this year, we said there would be more to come, and I’m thrilled our next statue could be one as iconic and magical as this.
“Harry Potter is hugely important to literature, theatre and, of course, to film.
“In a trail that celebrates cinema, it’s wonderful to have a character that has been so important to the UK film industry included, and one with as great British acting talent as Daniel Radcliffe.
“We know there are fans of Harry Potter of all ages all around the world and we look forward to welcoming them to the West End, and Leicester Square, whenever that will be.”
A Harry Potter section has been added to the trail’s walking audio tour, also hosted by Zane.
Leicester Square was first home to a cinema in 1930, with the first premiere taking place there in 1937.
Since then, it has cemented its place in British cinema history and regularly plays host to some of the most high-profile events in the UK’s film calendar.
Also represented in the square are Looney Tunes’ Bugs Bunny, Wonder Woman, Batman and Paddington.