To mark the 50th anniversary of his death, the landmark statue of Birmingham-born comedian Tony Hancock is undergoing vital conservation cleaning.
The memorial statue by Bruce Williams stands in Old Square in Birmingham city centre and is cared for by Birmingham Museums Trust on behalf of Birmingham City Council.
Recognised as one of the best known comedians of the 1960s, Tony Hancock was born in Hall Green, Birmingham, on 12 May 1924. The statue was unveiled by Sir Harry Secombe in 1996.
During the Second World War, Hancock served in as a member of the Royal Air Force. He spent his younger years as an amateur entertainer, and this passion continued throughout his war years, as part of Ralph Reader’s RAF Gang Show.
He was most known and celebrated from 1956 for his popular comedy radio and television work, including Hancock's Half Hour. He passed on 25 June 1968 and the conservation work has been commissioned by Birmingham Museums Trust to mark the anniversary.
Mareva Conservation is undertaking the job on behalf of Birmingham Museums, which including carefully removing marks and surface soiling from the sculpture. Experts from Birmingham Museums’ Collections Care team are involved throughout the process.
Rob Lewis, Collections Care Manager at Birmingham Museums Trust, said: “Tony Hancock is a celebrated Birmingham figure and it is only right that his memorial statue is carefully cleaned to mark the anniversary of his death.
“This work is part of our ongoing care of public art in the city and we are proud to have overseen the cleaning of this statue, preserving Tony Hancock’s legacy for years to come.”