ARCHAEOLOGISTS have digitally preserved a modern relic - the head of Frank Sidebottom.

Experts from the University of Liverpool‘s Department of Archaeology, Classics, and Egyptology might be more used to dealing with artefacts left by the Greeks, Roman and pharaohs.

But in partnership with 11:37 Sievey Enterprises and the Manchester Archives, they have now found a different icon to record.

Using photogrammetry, the researchers have been able to digitally map the dimensions of Timperley legend Chris Sievey's creation for posterity.

The announcement comes in the week of 10th anniversary of Sievey's death, which saw an online memorial night broadcast on the Youtube channel of the Old Courts in Wigan, featuring rare footage and clips from Frank's back catalogue.

David J Arnold, a close friend and associate of Sievey's, brought Frank's head from storage for analysis at the university.

Dr Arden Hulme-Beaman, one of the team members, said: "Frank Sidebottom's head is such a huge cultural icon for the north west.

"Objects have a life and they start to deteriorate and so you can see on the head it's sort of beginning to show some cracks.

"There's rub marks from where he used to wear it, where he held the microphone, and to make sure that that all survives we need to find a way to digitally preserve it."

And David added: "‘I like to think Chris Sievey/Frank Sidebottom’s story follows that of a succession of other famous artists in that they only become truly appreciated after they are gone.

"He was all things to all men: young kids, boozy football lads, gig-goers, comedy fans, and high-brow art lovers.

"He was an utterly ‘ahead of his time’ upsetter and a champion of the underdog, and as time goes by, I believe his stature will only grow as he is recognised as the true artist he really was.

"The preservation of the physical aspect of his legacy is incredibly important."

The Chris Sievey/Frank Sidebottom archive is held in Manchester and an exhibition was hosted at Manchester Central Library of the works last year.

Larysa Bolton, from the archives, said: "The thing that is really remarkable about the Chris Sievey / Frank Sidebottom Archive is the fact that you really get inside Chris and Frank’s head through the material.

"It might not always make sense, and it might blow your mind, but you’re there, right in Chris’s imagination and in the centre of his creativity.

"And of all the documents and objects, Frank’s head is the (paper mache) crown jewel. So the fact we can now even get inside that... well, that’s absolutely fantastic."

Several cameras and a turntable were used to map the head so it could be captured from all angles.