David Bowie statue unveiled, vandalised and restored, all in 48 hours 4 years ago

David Bowie statue unveiled, vandalised and restored, all in 48 hours

It was an eventful first 48 hours for Aylesbury's newest resident.

Sunday saw the unveiling of the world's first ever David Bowie statue in the market town of Aylesbury.


Titled the Earthly Messenger, Marillion’s Steve Hogarth and Howard Jones unveiled the statue to fans and media from all over the world. A stunning piece of art designed and sculpted by Andrew Sinclair, photographs really don’t do it any justice, you need to visit Aylesbury to see it for yourself.

Sadly, Earthly Messenger was vandalised just 35 hours after it was unveiled. Covered by CCTV, a clear recording of the perpetrator has been circulated. He sprayed the statue with green paint, first painting "R.I.P. DB" on the walls and then writing "Feed the homeless first" at the foot of the statue.

The thing is that no public money was used to create the amazing sculpture. All three local councils, Aylesbury Town Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council and Buckinghamshire County Council were very supportive of the project but made it clear that no council tax-payer money would be available to fund it. It has been paid for by Bowie fans and other private contributors from all over the world via a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign.


The statue was professionally restored and re-waxed the day after the vandalisation, with volunteers also helping to remove the paint from the walls and pavement. It has now been restored to pristine condition.

David Bowie uberfan Alex Laurent has offered to pay £5000 to a homeless charity if the perpetrator comes forward and turns himself in.

Why Aylesbury? The sleepy market town, tucked away in the Chiltern Hills was, and is, home to Friars Aylesbury, the music club where David Bowie performed the world debuts of two of the most iconic albums of the 20th Century.


Bowie premiered Hunky Dory at Friars Aylesbury on September 25th 1971 and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars on January 29th 1972.

Not only that, Bowie actually formed The Spiders From Mars (with Mick Ronson, Woody Woodmansey and Trevor Boulder) in the dressing room of Friars Aylesbury.

Aylesbury's Market Square was also referenced in the first line of "Five Years" – "Pushing through the Market square – so many mothers crying".

Building on the legacy of David Bowie’s strong connection with the town, Friars Aylesbury has also launched a petition to change the name of Aylesbury to Aylesbowie. To sign the petition to help Aylesbury become Aylesbowie visit Change.org.