Liverpool

Beatles' Eleanor Rigby sculpted from £1m of bank notes

Leonard J Brown and the Eleanor Rigby sculpture Image copyright Liverpool museums
Image caption The artist said the sculpture was inspired by an old lady in Hull

A sculpture of The Beatles' song character Eleanor Rigby, made from £1m of used bank notes, will be unveiled at the Museum of Liverpool later.

The 5ft 2in (1.57m) work depicts the "bag lady [who] died without a penny to her name," a museum spokesman said.

Liverpool-born sculptor Leonard J Brown said it was "to show people that money isn't the only way to make you happy".

He said his inspiration was seeing an old lady carrying a large number of bags in Hull, where he now lives.

The sculpture took six months to complete and the process began with the artist first having to negotiate with the Bank of England to get the used notes.

He was eventually given the notes in the form of shredded pellets, £300,000 of which he used to fill the sculpture's chest cavity, while the remainder were mashed and moulded to a steel frame.

"The sculpture serves to show people that money isn't the only way to make you happy and we should all be thankful for what we have.

"There are people in every town and city like Eleanor Rigby who live a lonely life and whose only worldly goods are kept in the bags that they carry."

It will be on show at the museum until January 2015.


Image copyright AP
Image caption A statue of Eleanor Rigby sits in Liverpool's Mathew Street

Eleanor Rigby

  • The song was formed part of The Beatles' 1966 album, Revolver, and was released as a double A-side single on the same day as the LP, alongside Yellow Submarine
  • Paul McCartney said he got the name by combining Eleanor Bron, who played the female lead in Help!, and Rigby & Evens Ltd, whose sign he saw while visiting Bristol
  • A gravestone bearing the name Eleanor Rigby lies in Woolton Cemetery near the church where McCartney was first introduced to John Lennon in 1957

Source: The Beatles Bible

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