Westminster Council’s planning committee has granted permission for Ian Walters’ statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela to be placed in Parliament Square.
The sculpture is currently being cast in bronze and is due to be installed and unveiled in Parliament Square later this year. Mr Walters was chosen by anti-apartheid campaigner Donald Woods because of his sculpture of Mandela on the South Bank and his links with the anti-apartheid movement.
Welcoming the news Wendy Woods, patron of the Mandela Statue Fund, said “to honour Mandela with a statue in a prominent place was my husband’s idea – it’s what he envisaged and worked for – so this is tremendous news. Parliament Square is a fitting place to acknowledge Mandela’s statesmanship and international stature.”
Mr Mandela sat for Walters for a total of nine hours and the clay model of the statue was completed just before Walters died last August. Before his death he chose Nigel Boonham to supervise the completion of the statue.
The committee’s decision was also welcomed by Mayor of London Ken Livingstone who said the capital was “proud to host this statue of Nelson Mandela, whose role in world history is finally being given the recognition it deserves.”
Mr Livingstone said the location of the statue would underline “Mandela’s special relationship with Britain and London through the long years of struggle against apartheid, and reflects his significance as a world statesman.”