The government has blocked the go-ahead for a statue of Margaret Thatcher to be installed in Parliament Square, over fears that it will be vandalised.
The Public Memorials Appeal Trust wanted to erect a ten-foot statue of the first female Prime Minister where she would stand with Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.
However, the Royal Parks Agency and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have formally objected to the statue.
The objection argues that the project has not received the support of the Thatcher family and there are fears that people would vandalise and damage the statue.
A Royal Parks spokesperson said, “Numerous times we have requested assurances from the applicant that they have approval from the family for the statue.”
“To date we have not had those assurances.”
It is also believed that Thatcher’s children, Carol and Sir Mark, are not happy with the design of the statue – which does not include her famous handbag.
The Thorney Island Society (TIS) has said that officials should follow with tradition and wait ten years after Thatcher’s death.
They said, “While Lady Thatcher was also widely respected it cannot be said that she was uncontroversial in this country.”
“There is a strong case for the ten year rule to respected – there should be a decent interval before permanent statues are erected, especially when they are controversial enough to risk vandalism.”
Vandalism amongst controversial statues is nothing new. Winston Churchill’s statue has been defaced with graffiti, and in 2002 a protestor decapitated a marble statue of Thatcher on display at London’s Guildhall Library.
While Thatcher holds the title of the first ever female Prime Minister and the longest serving and was named as the most influential woman of the last 70 years, she and her policies remain controversial.
However, current Prime Minister Theresa May has said that the threat of vandalism would not stop a statue being erected. Speaking as she arrived for the G20 meetings in Hamburg, she said, “What I’m very clear about is there shoud be no suggestion that the threat of vandalism should stop a statue of Margaret Thatcher from being put up.”