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Vincent Van Gogh links to Ramsgate celebrated in summer festival


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A summer-long festival celebrating Ramsgate's connections with Vincent Van Gogh kicked off in style at the weekend.

A new bust of the Dutch artist was officially unveiled by sculptor Anthony Padgett and the Mayor of Ramsgate on Saturday.

Throughout the summer, the town is hosting its Van Gogh in Ramsgate programme.

The bust is marking Ramsgate's connections with artist Vincent Van Gogh, who lived in the town in 1876 (12403256)
The bust is marking Ramsgate's connections with artist Vincent Van Gogh, who lived in the town in 1876 (12403256)

The painter lived in the town in 1876 - teaching at a boys' boarding school in Royal Road and living in Spencer Square.

The artwork commemorating his links to Ramsgate is one of five produced and placed in towns and cities around Europe with connections to the great artist.

John Walker, chairman of The Ramsgate Society, said: "Anthony contacted me and said he would like to donate one of the busts to The Ramsgate Society in recognition of the time Vincent spent in the town, during which he wrote several letters to his brother Theo saying he he was very happy here.

"With the help and support of The Friends of Spencer Square, the bust has now been installed in the centre of the garden for future generations to admire."

Exhibitions, a walking trail, events and competitions will be held during the summer.

Sculptor Anthony Padgett unveils the bust. Pictures: Alan Langley (12403258)
Sculptor Anthony Padgett unveils the bust. Pictures: Alan Langley (12403258)

The artist's bedroom at the house he lived at in Spencer Square - which is marked with a blue plaque - has been recreated and will open to the public in an open day planned for September.

Local artists will recreate scenes Van Gogh describes in letters he sent to his brother with a selection going on display at The Churchill Tavern - formerly called the Van Gogh and will be readopting the name for the summer.

The pieces will go on sale with proceeds donated to an arts therapy centre supporting people in Thanet with mental health issues.

Ramsgate Society chairman John Walker alongside Mayor of Ramsgate, Raushan Ara (12403110)
Ramsgate Society chairman John Walker alongside Mayor of Ramsgate, Raushan Ara (12403110)

Art workshops will take place throughout August at AiR Hub in Harbour Street every Wednesday (10am-1pm) and Sunday (11am-2pm).

A book on Vincent in Ramsgate will be available in outlets around the town and the Visitor Information Centre at the Custom House in Harbour Parade which will also provide information about a walking trail around the town which inspired Van Gogh during his brief stay.

Keep up to with the events and workshops by following #vincentinramsgate on social media or search Vincent in Ramsgate on Facebook.

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