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Thomas Paine lookalike wanted

PUBLISHED: 09:11 10 March 2009 | UPDATED: 21:28 07 July 2010

WANTED: A modern-day man with the face of a bestselling 18th century author and revolutionary.

Festival organisers have made an appeal for a lookalike Thomas Paine to bring to life an artistic tribute to the Norfolk-born writer.

WANTED: A modern-day man with the face of a bestselling 18th century author and revolutionary.

Festival organisers have made an appeal for a lookalike Thomas Paine to bring to life an artistic tribute to the Norfolk-born writer.

Painter Ned Pamphilon, who is set to undertake two public pieces of work in Diss and Thetford to mark the bicentenary of the death of Thomas Paine, has called for a suitable model to come forward.

The project is part of the six-month Tom Paine 200 festival to celebrate the life of the famous 18th century figure, who was born and raised in Thetford and went on to shape the American and French revolutions through his writings in Common Sense, Rights of Man, and The Age of Reason.

Mr Pamphilon, who returned home to Coney Weston, last year after a decade living in Turkey, will be painting a three-metre image of Thomas Paine's eyes, entitled The Vision of Paine, at Diss Park pavilion - the town where Paine spent a year of his life corset-making - between May 8 and 18.

The artist will then move onto Thetford Library from May 26 to June 6 to paint a full body portrayal in the reception area, which will be permanently installed on the wall of the public building.

The 45-year-old, who is famed for his portrayals of Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, said he would photograph the lookalike Paine to help form his new pieces of artwork. “We do not have a definitive portrait of Paine and none of the existing images of him look identical. I need a model and a muse and we are asking for anyone who looks like Paine to be put forward.”

“It is raising the profile of Paine and if we can find a really good look-alike, they will be on the wall of Thetford Library and Diss Park pavilion. It will be fun and will help promote East Anglia,” he said.

Mr Pamphilon said he hoped, by April 3, to find the lookalike, who would have to be approved by the Tom Paine 200 festival committee. Paine is usually depicted with black curly hair, piercing brown eyes, and a large nose.

Suggestions and photographs can be brought into Thetford Library when it reopens following a refurbishment on Monday.


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