Statue of Margaret Thatcher is FINALLY lowered into place in her home town amid threats from protesters that it will be targeted by ‘egg throwing’ and graffiti
- The statue of Baroness Thatcher was unveiled today in Grantham, Lincolnshire
- Fears for left-wing reprisals and the pandemic had delayed the statue’s debut
- Councillors in Westminster vetoed the original plans for the statue to be there
- It had been planned for Parliament Square alongside Churchill and Millicent Fawcett among other notable Brits
A statue of Margaret Thatcher in her home town of Grantham has finally been put into place today after delays caused by left-wing threats and the pandemic.
The monument to Britain’s first woman prime minister was vetoed from its originally planned position in Parliament Square, Westminster.
In February 2019, a planning committee in the Lincolnshire town unanimously voted in favour of the £300,000 statue before the unveiling was postponed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The statue has now been erected on a 10ft-high granite plinth in Baroness Thatcher’s home town of Grantham, Lincolnshire.
Thatcher’s monument was erected on the 10ft plinth by workers in Grantham today
The monument to Britain’s first woman prime minister was erected today in Grantham
The pandemic and fears of left-wing attacks on the statue have delayed its opening for two years
Reports originally presented to South Kesteven District Council showed the statue was moved to the area due to fears of a ‘motivated far-left movement… who may be committed to public activism’.
But after a large-scale £100,000 unveiling ceremony was approved by the council in 2020, a Facebook group proposing an ‘egg-throwing contest’ at the event attracted interest from more than 13,000 people.
Around 2,400 others visited the Facebook page to say they would go to the event including ‘egg throwing… and potentially graffiti art’.
Before planning permission was given to the statue, the only marking of Baroness Thatcher in the town was a plaque on the corner of North Parade and Broad Street to show where she was born.
A council spokesman said the Public Memorials Appeal, which funded the monument through donations, will host an official unveiling ceremony at a later date.
Leader of South Kesteven District Council Kelham Cooke said ‘we must never hide from our history’, adding it is ‘appropriate the debate that surrounds her legacy takes place here in Grantham’.
He said: ‘This memorial statue of the late Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven will be a fitting tribute to a truly unique political figure.
‘Margaret Thatcher will always be a significant part of Grantham’s heritage. She and her family have close ties with Grantham. She was born, raised and went to school here.
‘It is, therefore, appropriate that she is commemorated by her home town, and that the debate that surrounds her legacy takes place here in Grantham.
‘We must never hide from our history, and this memorial will be a talking point for generations to come.’
The statue, standing at just over 20ft high, will be situated in between two existing statues of Sir Isaac Newton and Frederick Tollemache in the town’s Civic Quarter.
Mrs Thatcher was born on October 13 1925 and spent her childhood in the Lincolnshire market town
Mr Cooke added: ‘We hope that this memorial will encourage others to visit Grantham and to see where she lived and visit the exhibition of her life in Grantham Museum.
‘This is about inspiring, educating and informing people about someone who represents a significant part of Grantham’s heritage.’
The Grantham Community Heritage Association (GCHA), an educational charity which manages Grantham Museum, spent a number of years raising money for a permanent memorial to Baroness Thatcher.
Graham Jeal, of the GCHA, said: ‘There has long been a conversation in Grantham about a more permanent memorial to the country’s first female prime minister who was an enormous political figure, both nationally and internationally.
‘The delivery of the memorial has secured the museum for the next few years and has helped the museum finances survive the Covid pandemic.
‘It is recognised that the full spectrum of views exist in Grantham about the legacy of Margaret Thatcher and an exhibition inside the museum illustrates this.’
Mrs Thatcher was born on October 13 1925 and spent her childhood in the Lincolnshire market town before heading off to Somerville College, Oxford, at the age of 18 to study chemistry.
The argument about how or even whether Mrs Thatcher, who died aged 87 died in April 2013 after suffering a stroke, should be recognised in Grantham has raised for nearly two decades.
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