The much-anticipated sculpture of Gerald the Minster Cat will be unveiled this Thursday (29 April).
Considered a star by all who met him, Gerald will have his likeness revealed by another star – York actor Mark Addy.
Famous for the Full Monty and Game of Thrones, he is also a big fan of cats.
There will be a special socially distanced ceremony at The Cat Gallery on Low Petergate in the afternoon. We will post photos on YorkMix later the same day.
The sculpture is currently in the window of the Cat Gallery under a cover.
The sculptor is Anthony Bartyla, founder of The Raven And The Hare Stone Carving in York.
He learned his trade of stone masonry and sculpture working for the Fitzwilliam Estate in Malton and studied masonry at York College.
He has worked on the famous York House, with links to Charles Dickens, and the Atlas Fountain at Castle Howard.
Developing close ties to the artists at York Minster, he soon developed a keen eye for stone carving.
Working for a time at Salisbury Cathedral only increased his passion for the craft. Learning the centuries-old techniques of the past to apply to his work, Anthony says he is constantly refining his style.
Hewn from limestone
He has used a piece of Yorkshire limestone from a quarry at Tadcaster to create the Gerald sculpture.
Gerald, who died in York last year, was a very special Bengal who made many friends. Justine Spencer, his owner, said due to Covid restrictions the unveiling would have to be a quieter affair than she had hoped for.
“We are unable to hold a public event but we will be posting photos and videos. We don’t want to run into any any problems over Covid rules.
“Once it’s unveiled, it will remain at the cat gallery in the window for a while, until we can finally install the sculpture at Holy Trinity Church on Goodramgate.”
Peter Hanson, owner of The Cat Gallery said: “We’re obviously just a temporary custodians of Gerald. We’re sort of cat sitting at the moment and later at the Holy Trinity Church he will be there for all to see and a big part of the famous York Cat Trail.”