Queen Victoria back to her best

By on 04/02/2011 in Culture, News

The capital of Queen Victoria 's Royal SceptreDetective work by The Victorian Society has helped restore one of Birmingham's most iconic statues to its former glory.

Almost 20 years after it went missing, capital of the Royal Sceptre is being returned to the statue of Queen Victoria on Victoria Square

The capital, the symbol of the monarch's temporal power, has been missing since the early 1990s.

It was finally returned on February 8 2011 after the Victorian Society joined forces with Birmingham City's Council's Heritage Service to reproduce the missing part. (NB originally scheduled for February 4 the work was delayed owing to high winds)

The decision to restore the statue was approved in 2007 but work was delayed due to a lack of drawing or photographic evidence of how the capital originally looked.

The capital of the sceptre was re-modelled in 1908 to incorporate the Star of Africa, which had been given to Edward VII in 1907 to celebrate his 66th birthday.

As a consequence, photographs and drawings of the sceptre all show the sceptre re-modelled, not as Queen Victoria would have known it.

Another avenue of research drew a blank when the matter was referred to the Royal Collection.

The mystery was eventually solved when The Victorian Society discovered contemporary photographs, allowing Eura Conservation to recreate the original.

Stephen Hartland, Regional Chairman of the Victorian Society, said: “Many of our campaigns are large and relate to whole buildings or groups of building.

“But we are also able to call on our knowledge and expertise in smaller matters too and we were happy to be able to work with the City Council in the formulation of an authentic facsimile of the capital. I am delighted that this has come to fruition”

Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, Cllr Martin Mullaney, said: “This took quite a bit of detective work but now thanks to the efforts of the Victorian Society, the magnificent statue can be restored to its former glory.”


Images of the statue can be downloaded from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/birminghamnewsroom/sets/72157625973844292/

For further information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

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