Fancy a chat with the Black Prince? Leeds statues could give you a call during arts festival

The Black Prince in City Square, Leeds.

The Black Prince in City Square, Leeds.

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Statues in Leeds city centre are set to come to life this summer as part of the 2016 Yorkshire Festival.

The celebration of the county’s vibrant arts scene will see the likes of the Black Prince in City Square and Henry Moore’s Reclining Woman outside Leeds Art Gallery give you a call when you swipe your phone on nearby signs during the festival from June 16 to July 3.

Music groups are needed for the Play Far Away Day commission during this year's Yorkshire Festival.

Music groups are needed for the Play Far Away Day commission during this year's Yorkshire Festival.

Talking Statues Leeds will see the monuments tell the city’s story in one of eight community commissions that will form part of the Welcome to Yorkshire-backed festival.

Others include 2015 Turner Prize-winning Assemble and artist Simon Terrill’s ‘The Brutalist Playground’ exploring the post-war concrete design of play areas in Sheffield and the Sew Within fabric upcycling workshops in Bradford.

Matt Burman, the Yorkshire Festival’s artistic director, said: “These community commissions are a vital strand of our programme – as important and brilliantly engaging as any of the world-class artists we’re bringing to Yorkshire from across the globe.”

Talking Statues Leeds will run alongside other community commissions such as #ChipShopTheMusical, which will involve performers touring chippies across Yorkshire, and Play Far Away Day, which is seeking music groups such as school choirs or adult ensembles to perform at some of North Yorkshire’s most stunning locations on June 18.

The Henry Moore sculpture Reclining Woman: Elbow outside Leeds Art Gallery.

The Henry Moore sculpture Reclining Woman: Elbow outside Leeds Art Gallery.

The first Yorkshire Festival took place when the Tour de France Grand Depart came by in 2014. It is backed by Welcome to Yorkshire and funded by Arts Council England.

The full programme of Yorkshire Festival events will be unveiled on April 14.

Visit yorkshirefestival.co.uk for further information.

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