Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Winchester Queen Victoria statue leaves Great Hall

Statue being winched
Image caption The statue was hoisted from its plinth before being carefully packed

A 14 ft (4.3m) high bronze statue of Queen Victoria, which has sat in Winchester's medieval Great Hall for 100 years, is being moved to London.

The statue weighs around two tonnes and is 30 ft (9.1m) at its widest point.

It will be displayed at the Royal Academy of Arts before being returned to Winchester in May 2011.

Ahead of the journey, Queen Victoria was removed from her plinth, which separated into four sections, and manoeuvred onto a lorry.

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Ken Thornber, said: "This is one of several pieces that have been loaned out over the years, which just goes to show how culturally significant our collection is in representing the history of Britain."

The statue was cast by Sir Alfred Gilbert to mark Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in May 1887. However it took 25 years for all the finishing touches to be made.

The only two other statues in the world made from the same mould are in Newcastle and at the British Embassy in Bangkok.

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