George Michael memorial garden turns to mud as fans ask for help
A memorial garden for George Michael has been left to decay in the year since he passed away.
The triangle shaped garden, part of Michael’s estate in Highgate, north London, was flooded with flowers and cards in the wake of his Christmas Day 2016 death.
But neighbours and family members of the star have yet to deal with the memorial.
Heavy rain has turned the ground to mud, while the volume of visitors descending on the garden has degraded the area.
Neighbours say they are reluctant to take action over the memorial garden without support from Michael’s family, who are yet to express a wish.
The Highgate Society’s environment chair Elspeth Clements told local paper Ham & High: “We don’t think it’s within our remit to get involved.
“We are keen on some kind of charitable foundation being set up in his memory, but ultimately it comes down to the family’s wishes. We want to abide by what they feel is appropriate.”
Fans have also called for a statue of the singer in the garden.
Ms Clements said the society felt the idea was “problematic”, however, due to the number of famous people living in the north London neighbourhood.
Heidi Feichtinger, who tends part of the garden on behalf of fans every weekend, admitted the space had attracted negative publicity in recent weeks because of its appearance.
Fan Tonia Katsantonis also called on decision makers to take action on the memorial.
“The garden needs someone to manage and give it direction. Fans need somewhere to go,” Ms Katsantonis told Ham & High.
“Fans send us tributes from around the world to place for them in George’s garden. We are constantly fundraising for Macmillan Cancer and The Rainbow Trust and have occasionally used the space as a meeting point for this.
“A Foundation in George’s name is certainly a way forward that will continue his legacy of supporting the charities closest to him.
“We have tried to make contact with the Highgate Society and are waiting to hear back from them,” she added.
Michael had multiple homes, including one in the Oxfordshire village of Goring, where he was found dead by boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.
Locals in the country village have faced similar problems with fans descending on the area around the late singer’s residence.
A full-sized statue costing £100,000 was meant to be installed at the late star’s second home, but council members have not approved plans.
Council members said the plans were “not thorough enough” to put up the statue outside the home.
The council said some of the 3,200 residents of the town may be opposed to life-sized tributes to the star.
Fans want to install a life-sized statue of Michael sitting on a sofa or bench on the high street in Goring.
They hope that the statue would be bolted down to discourage theft and that it would be bronze which is chemically aged to turn it green.
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