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Is this Southend Historical Aircraft Museum's robot?
COULD this robot be a relic from Southend’s past?
The 8ft robot, named Cygan, dates from the Fifties and looks remarkably similar to a robot which featured at the Southend Historical Aircraft Museum, in Aviation Way, until the early Eighties.
Cygan, which is Italian built, was sold for £17,500 at an auction at Christie’s last week, but it has reignited memories of the old robot in Southend, with some believing it is the same one.
The museum shut in 1983 with its collection sold off or scrapped, but could this robot be the one remaining museum piece?
Mitch Thraves, 47, from Rochford, is convinced.
He said: “I remember being taken there by my parents as a young boy and not being too interested in most of it – apart from the robot.
“Everyone remembers the massive robot. When they sold off the collection, no one knows where it went.
“Last week, I was showing my son some old pictures and I wondered what happened to it.
“I hadn’t thought about it in five or ten years, and then I saw on the news it had been sold for that much money. It is definitely the same one.”
Other people who remember the robot have also commented on the internet, stating it is the same one, but Christie’s has been unable to confirm whether it was part of the Southend collection as it has no details on its whereabouts from the Seventies onwards.
Cygan, later renamed Gygan and Mr Moto, was expected to fetch between £8,000 and £12,000 at auction.
It was created in 1957 by Italian aeromodeller Fiero Fiorito.
Part of a Christie’s collection, called Out of the Ordinary, it could originally walk, turn and lift and was programmed for spoken commands and signals.
The aircraft museum was open between 1972 and 1983.
The Athenium Club now stands in its place.
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