Page last updated at 09:22 GMT, Monday, 26 January 2009

Sculptor challenges Darwin image

Sculpture and Anthony Smith
Sculptor Anthony Smith says he wants to change Darwin's "elderly" image

A statue of Charles Darwin as a young man is to be unveiled at a Cambridge University college.

Sculptor Anthony Smith says he wants to change the image of the naturalist who is perceived by most people as a "wizened Victorian gentleman".

The statue is due to be unveiled at Christ's College on 12 February, the bicentenary of Darwin's birth.

Mr Smith said the statue would show Darwin in 1831 when he was an undergraduate at The college.

In that year the naturalist was preparing to join HMS Beagle for the trip which would later lead to the development of the theory of evolution.

Mr Smith, who is artist-in-residence at Christ's College, said: "I would like people to think about Darwin afresh when they see the statue.

"The public perception of him is as an old man with a beard, but he was, by all accounts, an energetic and life-loving student who did much of his great work in his early years."

He said he had studied portraits and sketches of Darwin and examined the facial features of the scientist's descendents in order to create the sculpture.

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