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Iconic socialist thinker Friedrich Engels to return to Manchester - in statue form

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 19/06/2017 14:58:31 Jennifer Williams

Iconic socialist thinker Friedrich Engels is to return to Manchester in statue form - more than 150 years after the city inspired his revolutionary writings.

Manchester International Festival has commissioned renowned artist Phil Collins to install a Soviet-era memorial to the radical figure in Tony Wilson Place, next to HOME, in July.

It will form part of an art installation called Ceremony, a live film event honouring Engels that will close this year's festival.

Turner Prize-nominated Collins has spent months trawling former Soviet states, including Ukraine and parts of Russia, to find the perfect decommissioned statue of Engels for the project.

The German political thinker moved to Manchester in 1842 and would go on to chronicle the appalling housing and working conditions suffered by its Victorian poor - including in Angel Meadow - to devastating effect, before penning the Communist manifesto with Karl Marx.

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MIF's event will mix together footage of the statue's journey from the former Soviet Union with new music - including an anthem by Super Furry Animals star Gruff Rhys - and performances, plus stories of the Manchester workers Collins has met over his last year living in the city.

The artist said: "It would take a hard heart not to rate Engels, adopted son of Manchester and a lifelong champion of the working classes.

"For the last few months I've been on a wild adventure across the former Eastern Bloc to find his statue and give him a new home in Tony Wilson Place.

"In preparation for our live film and performance in July to mark its welcome I'm in conversation with people from all over Manchester and Salford, hearing about everyday resistance to the current political crisis.

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"In harrowing times for so many, it's more important than ever to remember Engels' legacy - and the spirit of solidarity and dignity which beats at its core."

The statue will be unveiled in Tony Wilson Place on July 16 - accompanied by live performances - and will also be screened on a large screen in the NCP Bridgewater car park nearby.

Tickets are free. For more information, visit .

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19. kesäkuuta 2017 17:33:39 Categories: Manchester Evening News

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