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George Michael’s family asks fans to remove shrines from the singer’s homes

Bea Mitchell May 3, 2018
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British musician George Michael performs during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games in the Olympic Stadium in east London on August 12, 2012. Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Olympic Games. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/GettyImages)

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George Michael’s family has asked fans to remove shrines – made up of flowers, photos and tributes – outside the singer’s two homes.

Fans have created memorial areas filled with flowers, messages, flags and candles outside Michael’s former homes in Highgate, London, and Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire – where the singer was found dead on Christmas Day 2016.

In a post on Michael’s website, his father Jack Panos, sisters Mel and Yioda, and friend David Austin asked fans to remove the “touching tributes” by May 27, “leaving any you wish us to have.”

The statement reads: “Our Family feel, that the time has now come to share some decisions we have taken around our new reality, and situation since we lost Yog. That means we have had to come to decisions about many issues, some of which are more sensitive than others.

13th July 1985: British singer songwriter George Michael, lead singer of the pop group Wham!, at the Live Aid Concert in Wembley Stadium, London. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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“All of these decisions have been difficult but, they do need to be taken, ultimately keeping all things and all people in mind. One we have thought long and hard about, are the tributes at Highgate and Goring-on-Thames.

“We’ve been touched by your many tributes celebrating and remembering Yog, reminding us how very much he is missed and loved. However, we feel we cannot expect our Highgate and Goring neighbours to continue to accept as normality, the memorials so personal to you all, to remain as and where they are any longer although, we do appreciate your recent efforts to minimise their impact,” it adds.

They explain that “this is what we feel we now need to do,” adding: “We would like to ask anyone that wants to, to come and collect your tributes to Yog, between the 1st May (Tues) and the weekend of the 26th/27th of May, (Leaving any you wish us to have) so we can return both Mill Cottage, and The Grove to their former simple state.

“This will take time to do properly, so we ask for your patience whilst trying to improve the grass and railings, at The Grove.

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“Yog liked his privacy, his homes were true havens for him (-such a Cancerian!) and, ultimately, long term, we know he would not want to disturb or change the quiet neighbourhoods he so loved, for the people in the local area, who honestly, despite reports otherwise have been gracious and very understanding.

“As many people have now discovered, Yog did a lot of quiet giving over many years. Perhaps in his memory, you may want to ‘pay it forward’ and support, through either volunteering, or by way of donation, one of his favourite charities which, so many of you have already done to fantastic effect, or maybe some ‘random acts of kindness’ would be a fitting tribute. Sometimes it’s those little thoughtful things, which feel so good to do, that can really make someone’s day.

“We like, whenever we are charged with making decisions in Yogs’ name, to think ‘what would Yog do’, and the family will continue to take decisions as we think he would have done.”

Related: George Michael secretly donated £500,000 to HIV AIDS charity

Before thanking fans for their understanding, his family reveal that in the future they will reveal “some more thoughts on ways and ideas to remember Yog that we hope you’ll like, and be a part of.”

Last month, Michael’s partner Fadi Fawaz opened up about discovering the body of his long-term boyfriend.

In an emotional letter posted on Twitter, Fawaz wrote: “Since I saw you last time a lot has happened. Xmas Day I went to wake you up to go for Xmas lunch in Highgate but u were dead (can you flicking believe that).

“From that very first moment the world rose from death and pointed their fingers at me…I was all alone…they even accused me I [sic] had something to do with your death.”

He added: “They stopped all of the support I got from your team. I even got denied to our home [sic] in Goring where they even packed my clothes and sent them to me in bin bags.”

Related topics: George Michael

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