it's more complicated than that

Eros returns to Sefton Park

Life Realising I was missing quite a nice day, I decided I needed to get out, to see something, somewhere with fresh air. So I've been to visit 'Eros' now that he's returned to Sefton Park. If you're a Londoner, and this looks familiar that's because it's a replica of the statue that stands as part of the Shaftesbury Memorial in Piccadilly Circus, though for years I was under the impression that this happened the other way around. But since that was erected in 1893 and this turned up in 1932, I've been reminded that you shouldn't believe everything you hear.

Actually, it's more complicated than that. The reason I've put its 'name' in inverted commas, is because I've discovered that shockingly (having looked things up on the internet) this isn't a representation of Eros, god of love at all but his brother Anteros, his appearance symbolising Lord Shaftesbury's love for the poor, and has nothing to do with romance, which should be a disappointment to the lovers that have met both here and at the Circus over the decades hoping for it to pass on some good will. That's two misconceptions set straight today. Not bad.

Also, what's been placed in the park this week is a replica of a replica. 'Our' original was removed in the late nineties and taken to the Conservation Centre in Liverpool for restoration because of weather damage and vandalism and now heralds the entrance to the (now inaccurately named it seems) Eros Cafe at the centre. This version is an excellent substitute, its shiny surface gleaming in the sun. Once it's been dulled by age and rain and gained a more familiar patina, it'll eventually be difficult to tell the difference.

The fountain on which it sits isn't quite repaired yet, so the whole memorial is still ringed by block-a-mesh and still looks a bit like a building site. But once the water's running again it should be amazing. Even so it was drawing a crowd (mostly sitting on the patio of the nearby cafe), and I heard a many positive comments and memories, like the woman who remembered 'running around it as a teenager'. Here's a video report from the Liverpool Echo about it being placed and the work involved:

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