Thatcher statue pulled down despite threats to ‘throw eggs’

Thatcher statue pulled down despite threats to ‘throw eggs’

A statue of Baroness Margaret Thatcher is erected in her hometown, despite previous threats to “throw the egg”.

In February 2019, a planning committee voted unanimously in favor of the £300,000 statue – originally intended for Parliament Square in Westminster.

Despite a delay in its unveiling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the statue was erected on Sunday on a 10-foot-high granite plinth in Grantham, the home town of Baroness Thatcher, Lincolnshire.

A statue of Baroness Margaret Thatcher is installed in her home town of Grantham (Joe Giddens/PA).

(PA Wire)

The report, originally submitted to the South Kesteven District Council, suggests that the statue was moved to the area for fear of a “motivated far-left movement … that might commit to public activism”.

A Facebook group proposing an “egg throwing contest” attracted the interest of more than 13,000 people, after council approved a massive £100,000 unveiling ceremony in 2020.

About 2,400 others took to the Facebook page and said they would go to the event, including “throwing eggs … and possible graffiti art”.

The council said a CCTV camera has been installed right in front of the monument in an effort to tackle any threat of vandalism.

Before planning permission was given for the statue, the only icon of Baroness Thatcher in the city was a plaque at the corner of North Parade and Broad Street showing where she was born.

Sculptor Douglas Jennings working on his statue of Margaret Thatcher (Douglas Jennings / PA)

(PA Media)

A spokesman for the council said the Public Memorial Appeal, which funded the monument through donations, would host an official unveiling ceremony at a later date.

“We should never hide from our history”, said South Kesteven District Council leader Kelham Cooke, adding that “it is fitting that the debate around his legacy takes place here in Grantham”.

He added: “This memorial statue of the late Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven would be a fitting tribute to a truly unique political figure.

“Margaret Thatcher will always be an important part of Grantham’s legacy. She and her family have close ties to Grantham. She was born, raised and schooled here.

“Therefore, it is appropriate that he should be remembered by his home town and the debate about his legacy should be held here in the Grantham.

The statue was lowered to the plinth on Sunday morning (Joe Giddens/PA)

(PA Wire)

“We should never hide from our history and this monument will be a topic of discussion for generations to come.”

The statue will be located in the city’s Civic Quarter between two existing statues of Sir Isaac Newton and Frederick Ptolemache.

Mr Cook said: “We hope this memorial will encourage others to visit Grantham and see where she lives and to see an exhibition of her life at the Grantham Museum.

“It’s about inspiring, educating, and informing people about someone who represents an important part of Grantham’s legacy.”

The Grantham Community Heritage Association (GCHA), an educational charity that manages the Grantham Museum, spent many years raising funds for Baroness Thatcher’s permanent memorial.

GCHA’s Graham Zill said: “There have long been talks in Grantham about a more permanent memorial to the country’s first female prime minister, who was a huge political figure nationally and internationally.

“The distribution of the memorial has secured the museum for the next few years and helped the museum’s finances survive the COVID pandemic.

“It is believed that the full spectrum of ideas about Margaret Thatcher’s legacy exists in the Grantham and an exhibition inside the museum reflects this.”

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