A photo taken on May 16, 2022, shows a newly installed statue of the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in her hometown of Grantham, Lincolnshire. The statue was unveiled on May 15, 2022. Paul ELIS / AFP
- The statue of Margaret Thatcher was carved into eggs after being erected in her hometown of Grantham.
- Thatcher was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990.
- Almost ten years after her death, the “Iron Lady” still shares public opinion.
A new statue of the late former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was fenced off on Monday after a protest against egg-throwing shortly after it was erected in her hometown.
The Conservative Prime Minister, known as the Iron Lady, ruled the country from 1979 to 1990 and was the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Thanks to her policy of privatization, disruption of trade union power and the sale of public housing, she continues to share deep views almost ten years after her death in 2013.
The statue was funded by donations collected by a British historical charity and reportedly cost 300,000 (352,000 euros or $ 367,000).
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It was originally intended for London, but authorities there rejected the proposed site in the square opposite Parliament due to fears of “potential vandalism and civil unrest”.
The small town where Thatcher grew up, Grantham in Lincolnshire in central England, agreed to take the statue instead.
The local Grantham Journal reported that the bronze statue was carved shortly after it was installed on the baseboard on Sunday.
The Daily Telegraph published a photo of a protester throwing an egg at a statue, calling it Jeremy Webster, administrator of the local arts center.
On Monday, the statue was fenced off, and burlap was glued around the plinth and inscriptions, an AFP photographer saw.
The 10.5-foot-tall (3.2-meter-tall) figure shows Thatcher’s big-haired man in ceremonial robes she wore to the House of Lords, without her famous handbag.
The local district council of South Quevestne supported the installation of the statue, which its leader Kelham Cook described as “an appropriate tribute to a truly unique political figure”.
However, after the attack on the eggs, labor adviser Lee Stepto wrote on Twitter: “I do not justify this, but it was absolutely inevitable.”
The protest provoked a mixed reaction in the British media.
The right-wing tabloid Sun described the protester throwing eggs as “action”, and the left-wing tabloid The Mirror wrote: “The statues should not be defiled, but it is not surprising that Margaret Thatcher was defiled only 21 minutes after being installed.”
The tabloid read:
Those who have long memories of her brutal rule will wonder how it took so long.
Thatcher’s father was a grocer in Grantham. She went to study at Oxford University. In the 1980s, university professors voted against awarding her the title of Honorary Doctor.
Her bronze statue stands in the lobby of the House of Representatives.
In 2002, a protester beheaded her marble statue in London’s Guildhall.
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