The Statue of Freddie Mercury in Montreux
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A statue in Montreux in honour of Freddie Mercury
Dressed in his yellow military jacket and the red-striped white trousers he wore at the legendary Wembley concert in 1986, the statue of Freddie Mercury stands proudly facing Lake Leman with his fist raised in the air. His other hand holds his iconic microphone stand.
Guided tours have been offered since 2020, the Freddie Tour as well as the Freddie Tour (Extended) take you back to the years when Freddie Mercury stayed in Montreux. You will learn more about the relationship that the Queen singer had with the city of Montreux.
The statue of Freddie Mercury is now part of the living memory of the town and is a major tourist attraction in the region.
Countless fans and admirers of the singer of the band Queen gather from all over the world in Montreux to honour the memory of their idol and to meditate in front of this monument, paying various forms of homage there daily.
Innumerable flowers, often yellow in reference to Freddie's favourite colour, poems, drawings, photos and a multitude of objects lie at the foot of the statue and are frequently placed there.
Where is Freddie Mercury statue ?
Since its inauguration in 1996, this majestic 3-metre bronze memorial stands on the market square of Montreux, the town where Freddie Mercury chose as his last home.
The location is idyllic, nestled at the foot of the green mountains that mark the entrance to the Swiss Alps, while the peaceful lake stretches out at its foot.
Here is a Google Maps link to find the Freddie Mercury statue in Montreux.
The Sculptor: Irena Sedlecká
The statue of Freddie Mercury was designed by the Czech sculptor Irena Sedlecká, a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors and the Society of Portrait Sculptors.
She was born in 1928 in Pilsen and is a Czech sculptor who fled communism in 1967. She left Prague with her husband and their three children before beginning a period of wandering and semi-legality throughout Europe, before they could finally settle down in England.
Irina was introduced to Queen's entourage by Dave Clark, a friend of Freddie Mercury's, when she sculpted the bust of Lawrence Olivier, a famous British actor who died in 1983.
In August 1992, Irena Sedlecká's work was presented at the Czechoslovak Embassy in London as part of an exhibition devoted to the work of five prominent Czechoslovak émigré sculptors.
A hard worker, Irena continued to sculpt almost to the last day of her life. She died on 4 August 2020 at the age of 91 in London, where she had lived for several years.
Inauguration of the statue in 1996
The official unveiling of the statue of Freddie Mercury took place on the Montreux market square on 25 November 1996, in the presence of the singer Montserrat Caballé, with whom Freddie had recorded the song "Barcelona". This love song of the city became the anthem of the Catalan Olympic Games. The parents of the late singer, Jer and Bomi Bulsara, were also present as well as his sister Kashmira and her husband Roger Cook. Peter Freestone (Freddie Mercury's former personal assistant), Claude Nobs (founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival), Brian May (Queen's guitarist) and Roger Taylor (Queen's drummer) were also present at the ceremony.
Since its inauguration, thousands of tourists have come to contemplate and take pictures of this imposing work of art every year, whether it is windy or snowing, from sunrise to sunset.
A reproduction of the Montreux statue in London
A spontaneous proposal was made in 2001 to bring the statue in Montreux back to London, the city where the singer had his main residence known as the Garden Lodge. The idea provoked various reactions around the world and it was proposed that a temporary loan from the town of Montreux to place the statue on the 4th pedestal in Place Trafalgar would take place. However, this petition was unsuccessful, and the statue of Freddie Mercury remains in Montreux.
This famous statue of Montreux also served as a model and largely inspired an illuminated reproduction placed on the wall of the Dominion Theatre in London. This replica was installed in 2002 for the premiere of the musical "We Will Rock You". Although the show was not very well received at its launch, it eventually ran for almost twelve years. It is one of the longest-running musicals in the history of the West End which is home to most of London's major theatres. The latest news is that this London reproduction of the Freddie Mercury statue from Montreux has been recovered by Roger Taylor, the Queen's drummer, who has installed it in his garden.