George Orwell to be Honored With Bronze Sculpture by BBC his Former Employer

Posted on August 13, 2016

George Orwell Statue

The BBC has finally received permission to install a larger than life size sculpture of author George Orwell, author of Animal Farm, decades after Orwell left the BBC in 1943. Orwell was a journalist for the BBC and left due to his differences with management. Orwell commented at the time that his job as a producer "was wasting my own time and the public money on doing work that produces no result." Later Orwell used the BBC as his inspiration for the Ministry of Truth, the propaganda ministry in his book 1984.

Orwell was considered for many years to be far too leftist to have a statue at the BBC, but times have changed. Orwell will forever guard the Ministry of Truth now, as a bronze statue. According to the City of Westminster's Planning Applications Committee report the sculpture will be created by internationally known sculptor Martin Jennings, who cast the sculpture of John Betjeman in St. Pancras Station, the sculpture of Charles Dickens that stands in Portsmouth and the sculpture of Her Majesty the Queen Mother that stands in St. Paul's Cathedral.

There are not many photographs of Orwell, but Jennings is basing his sculpture on what they do have. He will be standing 2.5 meters tall on a statue base of 1.5 meters. The caption on the base will read "George Orwell." An inscription will be carved into the nearby stone wall at Broadcasting House which reads, "If Liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." The quote is from the preface to Animal Farm. One wonders what Orwell would have thought of the honor: would be be amused or appalled?

Photo: City of Westminster

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