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NYC - Central Park: Hans-Christian Anderson statue

The larger than life sculpture of Hans Christian Andersen, overlooking the Conservatory Lake, opposite East 74th Street, was sculpted by Geog Lober in 1956 and dedicated on September 18, 1956. Anderson, the Danish poet, novelist and author of 168 fairy tales, is depicted seated on a bench with an open book, whose pages are turned to his semi-autobiogrpaphical, "The Ugly Duckling." At his feet, a 2-foot high bronze duckling appears to be hanging on his every word, as if awaiting the happy ending.


The monument, which was designed by architect Otto F. Lanmann, was sponsored by the Danish American Women’s Association and was first unveiled in 1955 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Andersen’s birthday. Both Danish and American schoolchildren helped raise the $75,000 needed to build the piece. In 1973 the bronze cygnet was stolen, later recovered, and secured. Since 1956 the statue has served as a backdrop for children’s reading events, the best known of these storytellers is author Diane Wolkstein, who has spearheaded the summer reading program at the statue since 1966.


Central Park was designated a scenic landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1974.


National Historic Register #66000538

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Taken on September 1, 2008