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Artist helps Paine celebrations

PUBLISHED: 16:12 29 April 2009 | UPDATED: 11:04 12 July 2010

Artist Ned Pamphilon is playing a significant role in local celebrations at Diss and Thetford commemorating the 200th anniversary of the death of famous Norfolk author and revolutionary Thomas Paine.

ARTIST Ned Pamphilon is playing a significant role

in local celebrations commemorating the 200th anniversary of the death of famous Norfolk author and revolutionary Thomas Paine.

A radical thinker and bestselling author, Paine was born in Thetford and went to the local grammar school where Mr Pamphilon is this week working with students on an arts project to promote the town's famous son.

"I've painted local icons St Edmund, John Constable and Nelson, and, of course, I'm going to paint Thomas Paine said Mr Pamphilon, who attended nursery school in Thetford as a child.

"It is important we support and promote our region of East Anglia and associated businesses.

"It is important children are given a chance to understand where they are and who has been here before; art can help do that.

"This year is the 200th anniversary of Tom Paine's death, so this project at his old school is wholly appropriate."

Paine also has connections with Diss, working there as

a corset maker for a year before he rose to prominence championing the Rights of Man and social justice in America and France, and

both towns are hosting events in his honour.

On Saturday, historical re-enactment group the 1st American Regiment Queen's Rangers will be participating in the Diss Tom Paine Festival, setting up camp in the park and marching through the main streets.

Mr Pamphilon will be at the park between May 8 and 18, painting The Vision of Paine, featuring the author's eyes, followed by a full

body portrait at Thetford library which he will begin on May 26.

He returned to the UK in

2008 after 10 years based in Istanbul in Turkey, where he built a reputation painting the republic's founding

father Ataturk, landscapes and street scenes.

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