January 8 will be Elvis Presley's birthday, but the community will get the gift. During a ceremony at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Elvis Presley Birthplace, the Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation will unveil a statue of Tupelo's favorite son. "The statue will be unique to the community and the world," said Henry Dodge, chairman of the foundation's board of directors. "It'll be unveiled on the 67th anniversary of the birth of Elvis Presley." The timing means there's a good probability Elvis fans from around the globe could be on hand for the unveiling of the life-size sculpture. Dodge said CNN and other news organizations have been invited to attend.
Sculptor Michiel Van der Sommen, who's had work displayed in the U.S. and Europe, visited Tupelo this past spring, said Lisa Buse, executive director of the Elvis Presley Birthplace. "He did a lot of research on Elvis, looked at a lot of photographs and talked to people who knew him," Buse said. "The statue will be of Elvis as a 13-year-old because that was his age when his family left Tupelo."