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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 February 2006, 20:49 GMT
Royal ceremony for Raleigh statue
Walter Raleigh statue before its unveiling in East Budleigh

A 30,000 statue of Sir Walter Raleigh has been unveiled in a Devon village by the Duke of Kent.

The life-size bronze cast at East Budleigh marks the end of a 12-year campaign to acknowledge the birthplace of the famous explorer.

It is mounted opposite All Saints Church in the village, on a plinth of stone from Stoneycombe quarry.

It is sponsored by British American Tobacco in honour of Raleigh who brought tobacco from America.

The explorer, who was born in East Budleigh in 1552, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1587.

Five years ago the village lost a bid to have an existing statue of Sir Walter Raleigh relocated there from London.

Local MP Hugo Swire then asked Kenneth Clark, vice chairman of British American Tobacco, if he could help and the company agreed.

Mr Swire said: "This represents a happy conclusion to a long running saga and I am delighted that I have played a part in bringing about a lasting memorial to one of our local heroes."


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