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Public art sculpture displayed from 1991 until 2003 in Centenary Square, Birmingham, UK.

The Forward statue was made by Birmingham-born Raymond Mason at Halygon Studios in Paris, of fibreglass construction with cream, pink and red paint finish. It depicted famous and significant brummies including Joseph Chamberlain and the founder of the University of Birmingham, Josiah Mason amongst a crowd of people striving forward, from images of Birmingham's harsh industrial past. Centenary Square lies along Broad Street, and the statue faced the entrance of the International Convention Centre.

Media reports as to the price paid for Forward vary from £200,000 to £500,000. It had from the outset a mixed reaction from the brummie in the street, who isn't exactly renowned for embracing contemporary art. Some complained that it looked like a Communist "success through work" type statue; others that it was just too artsy for Birmingham.

The Forward statue was burned down by an unnamed individual on April 17 2003. Right now there is nothing but an empty pedestal where it once stood.

I liked Forward. It was a rare positive, aspirational statement about Birmingham really going somewhere. I was truly gutted when I saw what happened to it.

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