Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce that it has commissioned a bust of Arsène Wenger, which will take place of honour at Emirates Stadium.

An exact replica of the bust was unveiled by Arsenal Chairman Peter Hill-Wood at the Club's AGM at Emirates Stadium on Thursday in front of hundreds of Shareholders.

The final version of the bust, which will be cast in bronze and completed by the end of the year, has been created by figurative sculptor Etienne Millner, who has been painstakingly working on the piece for the past eight months.

After unveiling the bust, which the Club kept a secret from Wenger until the AGM, Arsenal Chairman Peter Hill-Wood said: "We are delighted to have commissioned a bust of Arsène Wenger, which will be located in an appropriate place of honour at Emirates Stadium.

"The bust is in recognition of the truly fantastic job which Arsène has done at Arsenal Football Club. Since joining us in 1996, Arsène has guided Arsenal teams to seven major trophies and has revolutionised the Club, not only through the brand of stylish and successful football which his teams play, but through his detailed and insightful input into the development of Emirates Stadium and our Training Centre at London Colney.

"Only recently, we were delighted to announce that Arsène signed an extension to his contract, keeping him at the Club until 2011. He will, as a result of this contract extension, become the longest serving manager in the history of the Club."

The bust of Arsène Wenger will join three other famous busts to be associated with Arsenal Football Club and particularly Highbury Stadium, where a bust of legendary manager Herbert Chapman greeted visitors to the famous Marble Halls in the East Stand of the Gunners' old stadium.

The other two busts at Highbury were of former Chairman Denis Hill-Wood (Peter's late father), which took pride of place in the Directors' Landing in the East Stand, while the West Stand was home to a bust of Claude Waterlow Ferrier, the designer of that stand at Highbury.

Since the move from Highbury, all three of these busts have been in safe storage, pending a decision on their final appropriate locations at Emirates Stadium.

Etienne Millner's previous commissions are wide ranging and have included monumental portraiture, figure groups, busts of politicians, writers and musicians. Among them are Sir Lennox Berkeley, Lord and Lady Harris of Peckham, Toyah Willcox, Adrian Daintrey, Viscount Whitelaw, Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck, Lord Thurlow, Rumer Godden, Sir Derek Alun-Jones, Lord Allenby, Lord Balfour of Inchrye, Count Jules Dembinski and Alexander Wyndham.

Further details on the final location of the Arsène Wenger bust at Emirates Stadium, together with the three other famous busts, will feature on in the near future.

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18 Oct 2007