A statue of Harry Potter, flying a Nimbus 2000 broom over the Hogwarts Quidditch pitch has been unveiled in London’s Leicester Square this week, which is likely to become quite the tourist attraction for Indian fans of the boy wizard.
The bronze statue, which shows Potter, played by Daniel Radcliffe, is just a few steps from where the film ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ had its world film premiere in November 2001.
“Harry Potter is hugely important to literature, theatre and, of course, to film,” said Ros Morgan, chief executive at Heart of London Business Alliance.
“We know there are fans of Harry Potter of all ages all around the world and we look forward to welcoming them to the West End and Leicester Square, whenever that will be.”
Potter joins other film icons including Laurel & Hardy, Mary Poppins, Mr Bean and Paddington as part of “Scenes in the Square”, an interactive film trail in Leicester Square.
Some young fans were enthralled.
“I love Harry Potter and have been posing for photos pretending to play Quidditch with the statue all morning,” said Finn Bruce, aged 10. “I love coming into London and I’m happy Harry is here now too.”
India is among the top countries on the world where children as well as adults have fallen under the spell of the Harry Potter books by author J.K. Rowling. The best-selling series has clocked thousands of copies in sales over the past few years.
Their popularity is such that the books have been translated into more than 30 regional Indian languages and courses based on the book are offered at leading universities around the world, including in India.
Rowling’s tales of the adventures of the boy wizard, spread over seven books, have proved equally popular in their cinematic versions, with Radcliffe and his fellow actors being shot into instant stardom as young child actors.