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Powerful topless statue unveiled of Liz




Liz O'Riordan, a breast surgeon who had breast cancer, receives her life-like small statue in the Abbey gardens. Picture: Mark Westley.
Liz O'Riordan, a breast surgeon who had breast cancer, receives her life-like small statue in the Abbey gardens. Picture: Mark Westley.

A topless statue was unveiled on Sunday as part of a project to honour women who have made a positive impact on others.

The Put Her Forward project organised by Non Zero One and commissioned by Heritage Open Days decided to change the fact that, of 928 public statues in England, only 158 feature women.

Liz O’Riordan, from Elmswell, received the ninth of 25, 35cm statues.

Liz, a breast surgeon who has battled breast cancer several times, blogs about her experiences and has recently written a book - The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer.

The unveiling ceremony took place in the Abbey Gardens, involving a 15 minute performance where the statue was revealed by lifting a screen.

Liz said: “I was shell-shocked at being nominated. I honestly had no idea what impact I have had on people’s lives through my blogging and speaking. It was literally just my way of coping with cancer. To be nominated by Jenny Baker, someone I met through Twitter who had chemo for breast cancer, made me cry.”

Nominated for being a triathlete, breast surgeon and patient, the statue depicts what Liz has been through.

She said: “I was nervous about being topless in public, but I was proud of my scars. I wanted to show that they’re now part of me, and not something to hide behind. My cycle helmet covers my healthy right breast, and my half-ironman medal, which I did one year after finishing treatment, hides my nipple remnant on my left mastectomy scar.”



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