Lawrence Holofcener’s newly restored sculpture “Allies”, featuring bronze figures of Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt engaged in conversation, has been unveiled by the late sculptor’s wife, Julia Holofcener, on Bond Street.
The much-loved sculpture – which was temporarily removed in May to be carefully restored by Highgate-based Antique Bronze – was a gift from the Bond Street Association to the City of Westminster and the people of London in 1995 to commemorate 50 years of peace. It cleverly illustrates the relationship between the wartime Prime Minister and US President as one not of politics, but of camaraderie.
As part of the restoration, Winston Churchill’s cigar and Roosevelt’s cigarette and holder have been recast in bronze and shortened to reduce the chance of future damage. The rest of the sculpture has been cleaned and given a fresh coat of wax and the bench itself has been stripped and re-lacquered.
The unveiling of “Allies” marks the completion of phase one of the Bond Street public realm works, which will radically transform the street scape and form part of the £10 million private and public investment package, which has been delivered by Westminster City Council and New West End Company, alongside the Bond Street brands.
Jace Tyrrell, Chief Executive of New West Company, commented: “We are proud to join together today to welcome back the newly restored “Allies” sculpture to Bond Street. There is currently a huge amount of public and private money being invested across the West End, which is so important in generating opportunities and prosperity. Our public art adds to the rich culture which makes Bond Street and the surrounding area the jewel in London’s crown.”
Westminster City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Business, Culture and Heritage, Councillor Robert Davis MBE DL said: “In Westminster we are committed to protecting and enhancing our public realm so I am delighted to be able to welcome the ever popular Allies statue back to its home in Bond Street following its refurbishment. Good public art should be meaningful and engaging – Lawrence Holofcener’s iconic statue is an important symbol of our friendship with our friends in the United States while offering today’s visitors a great opportunity for a selfie.”
Pictured above are (left to right) Paul Dimond CMG (Chair Bond Street Management Group), Cllr Robert Davis MBE (Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for Business, Culture and Heritage, Westminster City Council), Jace Tyrrell (CEO New West End Company), Lord Bruce Dundas (Chairm Bond Street Association) and seated between the Allies, Julia Holofcener.