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Nelson Mandela - Parliament Square, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.025 W 000° 07.633
30U E 699386 N 5709389
Quick Description: This statue of Nelson Mandela is in Parliament Square, London. It is a bronze sculpture of former President of South Africa and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela who sadly passed away recently (December 2013).
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 12/17/2013 11:20:45 AM
Waymark Code: WMJQ8Z
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Metro2
Views: 15

Long Description:

This statue was unveiled on 29th August 2007 in the presence of Nelson Mandela. It was sculpted by Ian Walters. The bronze statue is nine feet tall and shows Mandela in his customary shirt, buttoned to the neck, and trousers. He has both hands raised and appears to be delivering a speech. He is facing towards the Houses of Parliament in London.

The Nobel Prize website tells us about the man:

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. His father was Chief Henry Mandela of the Tembu Tribe. Mandela himself was educated at University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand and qualified in law in 1942. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party's apartheid policies after 1948. He went on trial for treason in 1956-1961 and was acquitted in 1961.

After the banning of the ANC in 1960, Nelson Mandela argued for the setting up of a military wing within the ANC. In June 1961, the ANC executive considered his proposal on the use of violent tactics and agreed that those members who wished to involve themselves in Mandela's campaign would not be stopped from doing so by the ANC. This led to the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. Mandela was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to five years' imprisonment with hard labour. In 1963, when many fellow leaders of the ANC and the Umkhonto we Sizwe were arrested, Mandela was brought to stand trial with them for plotting to overthrow the government by violence. His statement from the dock received considerable international publicity. On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused, including Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment. From 1964 to 1982, he was incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town; thereafter, he was at Pollsmoor Prison, nearby on the mainland.

During his years in prison, Nelson Mandela's reputation grew steadily. He was widely accepted as the most significant black leader in South Africa and became a potent symbol of resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gathered strength. He consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom.

Nelson Mandela was released on February 11, 1990. After his release, he plunged himself wholeheartedly into his life's work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after the organization had been banned in 1960, Mandela was elected President of the ANC while his lifelong friend and colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organisation's National Chairperson.

Wikipedia tells about the statue and how it came to be here:

The statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square, London, is a bronze sculpture of former President of South Africa and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela. Originally proposed to Mandela by Donald Woods in 2001, a fund was set up and led by Woods's wife and Lord Richard Attenborough after the death of Woods. The Mayor of London fought for permission from Westminster City Council to locate the statue on the north terrace of Trafalgar Square, but after an appeal it was located in Parliament Square instead where it was unveiled on 29 August 2007.

The statue is 9 feet (2.7 m) high, and made in bronze. The plinth the statue stands on is shorter than the other statues located in Parliament Square. It was created by English sculptor Ian Walters, at a cost of £400,000. Walters had previously created the bust of Mandela located on the South Bank in London. Fellow sculptor Glyn Williams criticized the statue at a public inquiry during the planning process, saying that it is "an adequate portrait but nothing more".

Donald Woods originally proposed the idea of a statue of Nelson Mandela for London; the fundraising to create the statue was led by his wife and Lord Richard Attenborough after his death. Woods gained approval from Mr Mandela in 2001, with the original idea to site the statue on a fifth plinth to be located outside the High Commission of South Africa in Trafalgar Square. The fund was officially launched at London's City Hall on 24 March 2003.

In 2004, Mayor of London Ken Livingstone publicly pledged his support for a statue of Nelson Mandela for Trafalgar Square at a celebration in the square of the 10th anniversary of democracy in South Africa. "It will be a square of two Nelsons. The man up there, his battle of Trafalgar was the defining battle that paved the way for 100 years of British empire, and Nelson Mandela looking down on this square will symbolise the peaceful transition to a world without empires." Westminster City Council turned down the planning application to position the statue in the square's north terrace near the National Gallery on the grounds that it would impede events in the area and would end the symmetrical layout of that part of the square. The Mayor appealed to the office of the Deputy Prime Minister, which agreed with the council's decision. However the Deputy Prime Minister stated that he supported the location of the statue on an alternative site, while the council suggested placing the statue outside the High Commission of South Africa along the side of the square. The Liberal Democrats of the London Assembly later criticized the use of £100,000 by the London Mayor to appeal Westminster Council's decision, saying that "Thousands of pounds of taxpayers money is set to be wasted in these costly arguments."

In April 2007, Westminster City Council completed a further review of possible locations for the statue. It was decided to locate the statue in Parliament Square alongside the statues of other important figures including Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Disraeli and Winston Churchill. The statue was unveiled by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on 29 August 2007, in a ceremony held in Parliament Square. Among the attendees were Nelson Mandela, his wife Graça Machel, and Mayor of London Ken Livingstone. In a speech, Mandela said that it fulfilled a dream for there to be a statue of a black man in Parliament Square.

URL of the statue: [Web Link]

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