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TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
An Ear for Music
The statue of Handel in Westminster Abbey has someone else's ear
Location: Westminster Abbey, SW1Y
Description: The sculptor, Louis Francois Roubillac, was an 18th Century French sculptor who was largely employed for portrait statues and busts, and especially for sepulchral monuments.
His chief works in Westminster Abbey are the monuments of Handel, Admiral Warren, Marshal Wade, Mrs Nightingale and the Duke of Argyll, the last of these being the first work which established Roubiliac's fame as a sculptor.
And so to the infamous Westminster Abbey statue - Louis thought that Handel's ear, though without doubt musical, was rather ugly. So he used as a model the ear of a certain Miss Rich, which, though not at all musical, was sculpturally perfect.
The statue of Handel in Westminster Abbey has someone else's ear.