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Photographs supplied by Heather Stevens

Statue of English author Charles Dickens  (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870).

The statue of Dickens is one of only two life-sized statues in the world of this great English author, and was installed in Centennial Park in c1891. It stood in the Park for almost 80 years before being removed and placed in storage after vandalism and ageing. Following this, the statue moved about to locations known and unknown for 40 years until it was 'rediscovered', reconstructed and now returned to its home in Centennial Park. The sculptor Ruben Varfi from NSW Public Works had the task of reconstructing Dickens’s head. Other restoration and re-creation works on the statue by the NSW Public Works team included his right hand’s baby finger, scroll and quill.  The statue was unveiled on the anniversary of Charles Dicken's birthday in February 2011. 

Charles Dickens  was a renowned English-born novelist and social commentator. He achieved popular acclaim in the late 1830s, and his fame steadily grew until his untimely death in 1870. Dickens never travelled to Australia although some of the most notable characters in his literary works were said to be inspired by Colonial identities. Two of Dickens’s sons, Alfred and Edward, immigrated to NSW in the 1860s, where they were active in the political and cultural life.

Sir GEORGE DIBBS, in reply to Mr. J. D. Fitzsimmons, said he was aware that a marble statue, alleged to be a statue of Charles Dickens, the celebrated English novelist, had been placed in the Centennial Park. It was placed there by the authority of the late Government. He (the Premier) was not aware that there was a definite injunction in the will of Charles Dickens, against making him the subject of any statue or memorial of any kind in the following words, written a year before his death:-" I conjure my friends on no account to make me the subject of any monument, memorial, or testimonial whatever. I rest my claims to the remembrance of my country on my published works, and to the remembrance of my friends upon their experience of me in addition thereto;" and that Dickens' friends, therefore, opposed any projected monument in England, except a plain tablet in Westminster Abbey. As to having the statue removed, the cost of taking it down, in addition to that of putting it up, would be too great to allow this to be done. 
Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW), 
22 March 1893.


Address:Dickens Drive & Loch Avenue, Centennial Parklands, Centennial Park, 2021
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.898806
Long: 151.236364
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 7th February, 2011
Approx. Monument Dedication Date:Job Hanson (original sculptor)
Front Inscription
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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