Agatha Christie statue takes seat on bench in Oxfordshire town

Theguardian_ A life-sized bronze statue of Agatha Christie has been unveiled in the Oxfordshire town of Wallingford, near where the detective novelist resided for more than 40 years.

The statue depicts the writer holding a book and seated on a bench overlooking the Kinecroft, an area of open grassland. Sculptor Ben Twiston-Davies – who also designed the Agatha Christie memorial in London – said in a YouTube video about the statue that it shows her “looking out as if she’s seen a clue for one of her stories”.

Christie bought Winterbrook House, located on the banks of the River Thames near Wallingford, in 1934. Many of her books were written at the house, and it remained her primary residence until she died there in 1976. She is buried in the churchyard of St Mary’s Church, Cholsey, just south of Wallingford.

Christie’s grandson, Mathew Prichard, unveiled the statue on Saturday. “This is a real honour and I am thrilled to be here. The family lived here for decades and at the time Agatha would not have welcomed this as she was very private,” he said, according to an ITV report. “But today I am sure she is looking down on all of us and delighted at this tribute. The local council and the artists have done an incredible job. It is a great day.”

Hundreds turned out to the weekend event, ITV reported. The statue is positioned near Wallingford Museum, which houses a permanent exhibition, At Home with the Queen of Crime, displaying photos and letters from the time the writer spent living in the area.

Being commissioned by Wallingford town council to create the statue was “music to my ears”, said Twiston-Davies. Making the figure was about “a year’s work”.

The sculptor added that statues should represent an “idea that we all cherish” and that the new Christie figure is “a little monument to the importance of imagination”.