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Mandela statue finally gets London go-ahead

Fri 20 Apr 2007, 10:47 GMT
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LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - A five-year row over the placing of a statue of Nelson Mandela was finally resolved on Friday with an agreement to put it up in a London square facing the British Parliament.

The 9-foot bronze, due to be unveiled later this year, was originally to be erected in Trafalgar Square, site of Nelson's Column, but the local council objected, saying it was too prominent a position.

The mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, insisted, and eventually a compromise was found.

"This is a huge achievement after years of campaigning," Livingstone said. "London is proud to host this statue of Nelson Mandela, whose role in world history is finally being given the recognition it deserves."

The statue was sculpted by the late Ian Walters, who was chosen in part because of his links to the anti-apartheid movement that Mandela spearheaded.

Mandela spent 27 years in prison for his opposition to South Africa's white-ruled government.

The bronze, which depicts Mandela gesturing during a speech and wearing a trademark patterned shirt, will stand in Parliament Square and look towards the Houses of Parliament.

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