QR codes give famous public statues a voice in London

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The quick response codes are being used along with NFC technology to help the statues to talk.

London is known for its large number of public statues, and through the use of mobile devices in combination with QR codes and NFC technology, those pieces of art are now able to speak to the people who are viewing them.

In a unique and rather entertaining project, some of these famous statues now have words to say.

The project commissioned a number of well known writers to come up with the words that would then be recorded so that viewers would be able to listen to what a statue has to say. The audio recordings were made by leading actors and actresses, who presented the monologues that can now be accessed by way of the scanning of QR codes or simply by tapping NFC technology based tags.

The QR codes project was launched this week, and the statues will continue to talk for a year.


There are several statues that have been equipped with the QRcodes that allow smartphone users to scan in order to listen to what the statue would say if his or her mouth wasn’t frozen forever in place. For example, on Baker Street, the plaque for the Sherlock Holmes now features a quick response code and an NFC tag that will allow a visitor to hear words that were written by Anthony Horowitz and that were voiced by Ed Stoppard.

Queen Victoria, herself, also has a few words to say through the voice of Prunella Scales who spoke the script that was written by journalist Elizabeth Day. In Paddington, the statue of Brunel had its monologue written by Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Able, the playwrights, and it was read by Hugh Bonneville.

Among the other statues throughout London that have been outfitted with QR codes and NFC technology tags include Isaac Newton, Peter Pan, and even the famous Dick Whittington’s cat (for those who would rather hear what non-human statues have to say). Some of the contributors to this project also include Jenna Louise Coleman, Jeremy Paxman, Jaqueline Wilson, Frank Skinner, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Simon Russell Beale, Meera Syal, and Patrick Stewart.

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