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Stratford's Jewish Lamp Post
Photograph - Photograph
Stratford Upon Avon in Warwickshire UK has the only International Exhibition of Working Lampposts in the world.
The Jewish Fiddler lamp-post sculpture is one of a series of foreign lamp posts along the Waterside in Stratford Upon Avon.
It was Commissioned on behalf of the State of Israel by the Jordan P.and Irene Callig Snyder Foundation.
At the top of the lamp post, as if seated on the cross bar is a traditional Jewish fiddler based on Tevye (or Topol) from 'Fiddler on the Roof', a story by Shalom Aleichem, the great comic writer of Yiddish culture. On the other side of the cross bar is a statue of a man with an ass's head depicting the character Bottom from Shakespeare's A Midsummer night's Dream. Above at the top of the lamp post is a statue of an owl.
The visitor book of the Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust revealed the high numbers and diversity of foreign visitors to the town. A scheme was devised whereby traditional lamp posts would be donated to the town by various countries, the original idea coming from Keith Brodie, the County Street Lighting Engineer of the Planning and Transportation Department at Warwickshire County Council. A standard letter was sent from the Chairman of the County Council to 20 or 30 Ambassadors in London on 3rd November 1986. There are a number of resulting lamp posts from various countries as well as additional examples from cities throughout the United Kingdom. The Israeli approach to the scheme has so far been unique.
The celebrated Israeli sculptor Frank Meisler who had a studio in London, was contacted by the Israeli Ambassador, and commissioned to make sculptural figures to adorn a conventional period style Israeli lamp-standard. Meisler visited Stratford and modelled the figures of Bottom and Topol. The figures were then cast in bronze in Israel before being sent to Stratford to be fitted to the post which had already been erected.The Israeli Lamp was completed by 15 November 1990.
February 21st, 2013
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