Agatha Christie statue to be unveiled in Wallingford

statue of Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie moved to Wallingford in 1934 and lived there until her death

A life-sized bronze statue of crime novelist Agatha Christie is to be unveiled in the town where she lived.

The writer spent more than 40 years residing on the outskirts of Wallingford, Oxfordshire, but kept a low profile during her life there.

Dame Agatha Christie's figure will be seated on a bench overlooking the Kine Croft, as if drawing inspiration for her next novel.

The statue will be revealed on Saturday.

sculptor making adjustments to statue
The bronze statue, named A Monument to Imagination, was funded by an Arts grant

Despite her worldwide fame for novels Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile, many did not know she was living locally.

She died in her Winterbrook House home on the banks of the River Thames in 1976, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Mary's in Cholsey.

The statue and bench will be positioned against the backdrop of Wallingford Museum, which houses a permanent exhibition about the author, and the time she spent in Oxfordshire.

gravestone of Agatha Christie
Her grave is visited by people from across the world

Judy Dewy, the museum's curator, said it was a special place for Dame Agatha as it was the place she and her second husband Max Mallowan had privacy.

"In the town, she only ever introduced herself to people as 'Mrs Mallowan' - not everybody knew that she was Agatha Christie."

For that reason, Ms Dewy did not think the writer would have liked the statue.

"She would have hated it [the fuss] I think, to be perfectly honest.

"This is the secret that's now out - that actually she was a resident of Wallingford for 42 years."

Sculptor sat in front of sculpted heads
Sculptor Ben Twiston-Davies spent more than a year designing and creating the statue

Wallingford Town Council commissioned the statue to commemorate her life.

The sculptor Ben Twiston-Davies also designed the Agatha Christie statue The Book in London.

"I imagine that she's sitting in the park... and she's having a moment of inspiration," he said.

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