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George Michael memorial garden in Highgate to be dismantled by star’s family

PUBLISHED: 13:12 01 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:46 01 May 2018

Fans have been laying tributes to George Michael in The Grove since he died on Christmas Day 2016.       Picture: Michael Stephens/PA

Fans have been laying tributes to George Michael in The Grove since he died on Christmas Day 2016. Picture: Michael Stephens/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

The family of popstar George Michael are to dismantle the memorial garden outside his home in The Grove.

Flowers and tributes to the late star have been laid out on the green opposite The Grove, Highgate. Picture: Emily BanksFlowers and tributes to the late star have been laid out on the green opposite The Grove, Highgate. Picture: Emily Banks

They have asked any fans who wish to to collect their tributes to the star from today until the weekend of May 26.

Once the tributes are cleared the family aims to restore the area to its original state by improving the railing and the grass which has been trampled by thousands of fans laying flowers and tributes since the popstar’s death on Christmas Day 2016.

Sisters Yioda and Melanie Panayiotou and father Jack said they had made some difficult decisions about the situation since the death of George, who they knew affectionately as ‘Yog’.

In a statement on his official website they said: “We’ve been touched by your many tributes celebrating and remembering Yog, reminding us how very much he is missed and loved. However, we feel we cannot expect our Highgate and Goring neighbours to continue to accept as normality, the memorials so personal to you all, to remain as and where they are any longer although, we do appreciate your recent efforts to minimise their impact. However, this is what we feel we now need to do.”

The shrine created by fans outside George Michael's home in The Grove is to be dismantled. Picture: Polly Hancock.The shrine created by fans outside George Michael's home in The Grove is to be dismantled. Picture: Polly Hancock.

They continued: “Yog liked his privacy, his homes were true havens for him (-such a Cancerian!) and, ultimately, long term, we know he would not want to disturb or change the quiet neighbourhoods he so loved, for the people in the local area, who honestly, despite reports otherwise, have been gracious and very understanding.

“We would like to ask anyone that wants to, to come and collect your tributes to Yog, between May 1 and the weekend of the May 26, (Leaving any you wish us to have) so we can return both Mill Cottage, and The Grove to their former simple state.”

“This will take time to do properly, so we ask for your patience whilst trying to improve the grass and railings, at The Grove.

The family said of the decision: “We like, whenever we are charged with making decisions in Yogs’ name, to think ‘what would Yog do’, and the family will continue to take decisions as we think he would have done.”

George Michael is buried next to his mother in Highgate Cemetery. Picture: PA ImagesGeorge Michael is buried next to his mother in Highgate Cemetery. Picture: PA Images

They urged people who wished to remember the star to help the charities he supported.

The statement said: “As many people have now discovered, Yog did a lot of quiet giving over many years. Perhaps in his memory, you may want to ‘pay it forward’ and support, through either volunteering, or by way of donation, one of his favourite charities which, so many of you have already done to fantastic effect, or maybe some ‘random acts of kindness’ would be a fitting tribute. Sometimes it’s those little thoughtful things, which feel so good to do, that can really make someone’s day.”

To see the full statement from George Michael’s family visit: www.georgemichael.com

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