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Ask any Londoner, and they’ll happily tell you that the statue at the centre of Piccadilly Circus represents the Greek god of Love – Eros – but they are wrong! It actually represents the Angel of Christian Charity.
It was erected in 1892 to commemorate Anthony Cooper, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, whose tireless work for the poor and mentally ill led to calls for a memorial.
Eros was originally placed in the centre of the junction with his bow pointing up Shaftesbury Avenue – but was moved to the south-western side after work was carried out on the square. He now aims his arrow down Regent Street.