Statues - Hither & Thither
Piccadilly Circus (W1)
Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain ("Eros")Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury
London 1801 - Folkestone 1885
British politician, philanthropist and social reformer
Fountain surmounted by an aluminium winged statue of Anteros, the antique Greek god of requited love, literally 'love returned' or 'counter-love' and also the punisher of those who scorn love and the advances of others, or the avenger of unrequited love. He was the brother of Eros, the Greek god of love.
The model for Anteros was Gilbert's diminutive 15-year old Anglo-Italian studio assistant, Angelo Colarossi.
It was erected in 1892-93 to commemorate the philanthropic works of Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, who was a famous Victorian politician and philanthropist, and his achievement in replacing child-labour with school education. Anteros symbolises here the selfless philanthropic love of the Earl of Shaftesbury for the poor.
The memorial is sometimes given the name The Angel of Christian Charity and is popularly mistaken for Eros.
The fountain was unveiled on 29 June 1893 by the Duke of Westminster. Originally, there was also a small bust of Lord Shaftesbury at the fountain, but that was later removed.
ERECTED BY PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION TO
ANTONY ASHLEY COOOPER, K.G.
SEVENTH EARL OF SHAFTESBURGY
born. april xxviii. mdccci.
died. october i. mdccclxxxv.
during a public life of half a centiry
he devoted the influence of his station.
the strong sympathied of his heart.
and the great powers of his mind.
to honouring god by serving his fellow men.
an example to his order. a blessing to his people.
and a name to be by them
ever gratefully remembered.
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