Originally created 03/08/06

Fans want Wallace and Gromit statue



LONDON - Fired by news that Wallace and Gromit have won a fourth Oscar for their creator, fans in the pair's hometown called Tuesday for a statue to be erected of the balding cheese lover and his long-suffering canine companion.

Matthew Symonds, a local councilor in Bristol where Nick Park and Aardman Animations created the now-famous pair, said it was time to recognize the contribution that Wallace and Gromit have made to the city in southwest England.

"Everyone loves Wallace and Gromit and everyone I've spoken to on this matter agrees that we should thank Aardman in some way for what they have done for the city," said Symonds.

"They really have placed Bristol on the map worldwide," he said, adding that the Aardman motion picture company had made a big impact on the city.

Park and Aardman won their fourth Academy Award on Sunday in the category of best animated feature film for "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit."

"With Hollywood and Oscar success they could easily have left to seek their fortune elsewhere," said Symonds.

"It really is about time that the Lord Mayor offered Wallace the best cheese the city can lay hands on; Gromit and his makers are more than welcome to it as well," said Symonds.

A spokeswoman for Bristol City Council said councilors would be happy to consider any request for a statue.

Aardman had previously won three Oscars for the animated films "Creature Comforts" in 1991, "The Wrong Trousers" in 1994 and "A Close Shave" in 1996.

The company was founded by David Sproxton and Peter Lord 30 years ago. Park joined in the 1980s.

A fire at the company's Bristol warehouse last year destroyed hundreds of props used in the Wallace and Gromit films.

On the Net:

http://www.wallaceandgromit.com/fla/wg.html