A risque and much missed iconic statue which sparked outrage when it was first unveiled is set to return to Doncaster town centre next month.
The ‘Lovers’ statue - which showed a naked couple embracing in a cascading waterfall - was the centrepiece of the Arndale Centre - now the Frenchgate Centre up until the mid 1980s.
It has now been revealed that the statue will return to the town centre on June 19 - almost thirty years on from its last public display.
The statue will be revealed in all its glory in the Waterdale Shopping Centre with a public unveiling ceremony.
St. Modwen, which owns and manages the Centre, is calling on local people to come down to the shopping mall to welcome the statue back to the town.
The return of the Lovers marks the start of the DNweekeND, which is a Right Up Our Street funded project.
Shoppers will be able to Join Trax FM from 2pm on June 19 for an afternoon of entertainment, including performances from Granny Turismo, the world’s first Shopping Trolley Dance Display Team.
The Lovers, the meeting place for thousands of Doncastrians in the 1960s, has recently undergone extensive restoration work to return the statue to its former glory.
Work has included restructuring the hands and feet, rewelding the internal fibre glass structure and recolouring.
Richard Bannister, Yorkshire and North East Regional Manager for St. Modwen, said: “We inherited the statue when we purchased the centre in late 2013. We recognise its importance to the local community, which is why we have worked with a local arts group to carry out the restoration. The start of the DNweekeND is the perfect opportunity to welcome to the statue back to Doncaster.”
Waterdale Shopping Centre will also host a number of installations as part of the DNweekeND, including theatre performances and live music.
Amanda Hughes- Lubeck from restorers Artfuel said: “The statue was in a state of disrepair when we began the restoration work and it has taken a considerable amount of work to bring it back to its former glory. The statue is quite delicate so it is important that it is made sufficiently robust before going back on public display.”
The statue raised eyebrows when it was first unveiled in the Arndale Centre and became a popular meeting point for scores of people before its removal as the shopping complex was transformed into the Frenchgate Centre in the 1980s.
A Facebook group, Get The Lovers Statue Back In The Frenchgate Centre, was set up last year and attracted a host of fans keen to see the saucy artwork return.