Grantham may wait “years” before it has a statue to mark the life of Margaret Thatcher.
David Burling, project director of Grantham Museum, says much is to be determined, including if Grantham will receive a ‘free’ statue or not.
Speculation Grantham might get a ‘free’ statue mounted after Westminster Council refused plans for a statue.
Conservative councillors such as Ray Wootten support a statue in town, with Labour member Charmaine Morgan wanting it in the museum to give it a “better context” with other Thatcher artefacts.
Mr Burling distanced himself from their comments, saying they had not spoken to him. But in the past week, he has met them both and gained their support.
He said: “I explained to them the costs implicated in receiving that ‘free’ statue. We might need to do a full survey, how much does the statue weigh, all sorts of things. This might cost anything from £5,000-£100,000.”
“Personally, I think Grantham should have a statue to commemerate Margaret Thatcher. However, it is customary to wait ten years until after the person has died but for Margaret Thatcher it might be different.”
Over four years, fundraising for the Margaret Thatcher Statue Fund has generated £40,000.
“We are continuing to fundraise. We have a working committee looking at where we are, looking at the plans for the future and what the next steps would be. We will make an announcement in due course,” he said.
The museum stages its AGM on April 11, for which Mr Burling will prepare a report on its activities, including the potential statue. The museum will “engage” with Grantham about where a statue might go and take into account security and people’s feelings and not dismiss them.
“People need to be realistic as to timescales. We have a long way to go with fundraising and a long time to get to the point where Grantham is ready for a statue.”
He wanted to thank the two councillors, the district council and people for their support saying “without them, Grantham Museum would not be here.”