Published: 09:00, 22 January 2016
| Updated: 09:23, 22 January 2016
Mystery benefactors are paying £200,000 for a large statue of the Queen to be sculpted and placed in the centre of Gravesend to mark her birthday.
Gravesham council is commissioning the artwork - which is one and half times larger than Queen Elizabeth herself - for her 90th later this year.
It is believed to be the only statue which will show Her Majesty seated. She will be dressed in full Order of the Garter robes and it will be mounted on a stone plinth.
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The £200,000 statue will be funded entirely from private sponsorship.
World renowned sculptor Douglas Jennings MRBS — the artist who created the award-winning Pujji statue on lower St Andrew’s Gardens — has been commissioned to create the bronze statue.
It is expected to be displayed on upper St Andrew’s Gardens, facing Queen Street.
The project has been developed over many months and details of the funding are still to be finalised.
Council leader Cllr John Cubitt said: “It will be a fitting tribute to our longest reigning monarch on a notable personal milestone.
“Everyone admires the Queen’s dedication to carrying out her duties so diligently into a seventh decade. Our tribute will be dignified and will mark a special moment in the nation’s history for generations to come.
“I’m certain that the people of our borough will welcome this artwork which will become part of our future heritage. It is important to realise that this will not be a cost to the public purse.
"The borough’s links to the monarchy are long standing over centuries and it is especially fitting that it comes in a year when our market, one of the oldest royal chartered markets in England, is being redeveloped at the same time the statue of the last reigning Queen, Victoria, is being restored."
Douglas Jennings, who is known for his meticulous attention to detail, said: “I was extremely honoured and delighted to be chosen to create this unique statue of Her Majesty in her ninetieth year.
"It is tremendous to be working once again on a project for Gravesend to add to the Pujji memorial which has not only won awards but also won the hearts of the local people."