A sculpture depicting Marxism co-founder Friedrich Engels has been installed outside the university’s new £55m Adelphi building in Salford.
Engels’ Beard, a five-metre tall sculpture of the social philosopher, will also double up as a climbing wall for visitors.
German radical Engels, who founded Marxism with Karl Marx, lived and worked in Salford in the 19th century.
Engels and Marx, who went on to write ‘The Communist Party Manifesto’, were also said to have regularly drunk together in the Crescent Pub in Salford, which is still open opposite the University.
The sculpture shows the social scientist’s head and distinctive large bushy beard, also allowing people to climb to a viewing tower.
The Adelphi building, which opens this month, includes a 350-capacity theatre, two TV acting studios, six industry standard recording studios, 12 performance studios, 14 instrument tuition rooms, a 100 square metre band practice room and roof terrace.
As well as providing cutting edge facilities for up to 4,000 students, a programme of major public cultural events is being planned.
Professor Allan Walker, dean of the University of Salford’s School of Arts & Media, said: “Friedrich Engels was one of the most significant and influential figures to have lived in the city of Salford, and so it’s entirely fitting that a major sculpture in his honour should be here.
“I hope it will serve as a reminder to our students about the important role that this city played in shaping the world while also inspiring them to go on to do great things themselves.
“Our brilliant New Adelphi building also marks another major step for Salford and the University as a genuine centre of excellence for arts and the creative industries.”
The University Art Collection commissioned Salford-based arts production company Engine to produce the work, and the project was led by artist Jai Redman.
The piece, which is made out of fibreglass, was conceived and carved at Engine’s studio in Greengate, Salford.
Engine then teamed up with climbing wall manufacturers Entre-Prises, based in Irby near Colne, Lancashire, who fabricated the sculpture.