- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A bronze, seven-foot-tall statue of slain rapper Tupac Shakur expected to cost over $500,000 is slated to be erected outside Atlanta later this year, TMZ reported Tuesday.

The statue is expected to be unveiled in September outside the former Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts amphitheater in Stone Mountain, Georgia, the gossip site first reported.

Jim Burnett, the owner of the amphitheater, told TMZ that he’s hired accomplished British-born portrait sculptor Nijel Binns to create a 7-foot bronze statue of Shakur to replace a monument to the hip-hop icon removed in 2015.

“Honored to be part of celebrating another legend, Tupac Shakur,” Mr. Binns wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday linking to the TMZ report.

The Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts was opened by the rapper’s mother in 2005, nine years after her son was shot to death near the Las Vegas strip. He was 25.

A larger-than-life statue of a suit-clad Shakur with bible in hand stood outside the amphitheater for years, but was removed after the center was shuddered and sold in 2015.

Mr. Binns provided TMZ with a 13-inch clay model of work in progress, the likes of which depicts a shirtless Shakur holding a microphone behind his back.

Mr. Burnett expects the statue “will cost more than half a million bucks to complete,” TMZ reported

On Friday, meanwhile, Shakur was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by fellow rap legend Snoop Dogg at a ceremony in New York City.

“While we may be here today to celebrate one of music’s most prolific and outspoken artists as he’s rightfully enshrined amongst the greatest musicians to ever do it, I’m here to make sure that ‘Pac is remembered the way he would’ve wanted to be — a strong black man that stood for his,” Snoop said.

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