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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 November 2005, 12:54 GMT
Ivor Novello statue for home city
Ivor Novello sculpture
It is hoped the statue will be placed in Cardiff Bay
A statue to celebrate the life of one of Wales' most musically-acclaimed sons has been commissioned, with the aim of a place in the heart of Cardiff Bay.

The 12ft high sculpture of composer and film actor Ivor Novello has been created by Swansea artist Peter Nicholas.

Novello became famous for songs including Keep The Home Fires Burning.

Fundraising efforts are now being made to raise 45,000 to pay for the statue.

Hilary David from Cardiff has commissioned the statue, paying 30,000 towards the 75,000 project.

"It amazed me that, apart from a small plaque on the wall of a Cardiff house where he once lived, Wales has not honoured the man whose work was acclaimed throughout the world," he said.

Novello was born David Ivor Davies in Cowbridge Road in Canton in 1893, with his mother a singer and voice coach. He composed his first song as a teenager.

He later became a film idol in Britain and the USA during the 1930s.

Ivor Novello
Novello with his mother Dame Clara Novello Davies and a Welsh ladies choir in 1939

He also wrote dramas and film scripts, but it was his songwriting and musical shows, including Glamorous Night, The Dancing Years and King's Rhapsody that won him international acclaim.

During World War I, Novello served as a pilot in the Royal Naval Air Service, surviving two crash landings.

Keep The Home Fires Burning, from 1914, is considered by some as one of the greatest war songs ever written.

His name is now synonymous with one of British music's top prizes, the Ivor Novello songwriting awards - also known as The Ivors - in which many modern artists compete for every year.

Captain Norman Lloyd-Edwards, Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan and former Lord Mayor of Cardiff, set up the fundraising group for the statue.

"Although Ivor Novello died over 50 years ago, his tunes are a wonderful legacy," he said.

"He did Wales proud, and Wales will now show its pride in him".

Novello died in 1951 in his flat above London 's Strand theatre, a few hours after performing the lead in King's Rhapsody.

Organisers hope the statue will be placed near to the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.



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