A GLITTERING Feltham tribute to Freddie Mercury that fell into almost unrecognizable disrepair has been replaced with a smaller stone, in another part of the town centre.
A large floor tribute in the shape of a star was installed in the middle of The Centre in November 2009 as a tribute to the well loved musician who used to live in Gladstone Avenue with his family for 10 years in the 1960s and 70s.
But the installation has suffered such serious weather damage, that the council have installed a smaller, cheaper version outside 21 High Street, with the intention of eventually removing the original stone.
Amar Habib, a member of the Official International Queen Fan Club, said the decision to move the tribute and make it smaller was a "let down".
He said: "It seems such a shame that it is being replaced somewhere else, we went to huge efforts to organise the launch event, with Freddie's mother coming down, lots of VIP guests and even Brian May. It's so sad that it can't be replaced or repaired in the same place. It's just a big let down really."
As preparations are underway to mark Queen's 40th birthday in November, fans have been concerned about the state of the tribute, this was also highlighted when what would have been Freddie's 65th birthday was celebrated globally in September.
Conservative councillor for Hanworth Park, Paul Jabbal, said: "We do accept that the condition of the original stone is very poor, when it was put in we have severe weather immediately afterwards, and some bad winter weather too. We decided it would not be a financially viable option to repair it so we have made a new one. It is low in cost and has been carried out internally by council contractors.
"We are not planning to have a second opening event for the new stone. Freddie's family have seen it and are happy with it."
Mr Habib said: "Queen is still the biggest selling bad in the UK even surpassing the Beatles and given their huge influence and overwhelming popular success worldwide the band institutionally represents Britain. It is important we keep Freddie Mercury’s legacy alive."
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