The statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square, London, is a bronze sculpture of the former President of South Africa. Originally proposed by Donald Woods in 2001, a fund was set up and led by Woods’s wife and Lord Richard Attenborough after the death of Woods.
The former Mayor of London fought for permission from Westminster City Council to locate the statue on the north terrace of Trafalgar Square, but after an appeal it was located in Parliament Square instead where it was unveiled on 29 August 2007.
On the night after the unveiling an unknown person placed a South African scarf around the Mandela statue. The scarf stayed around Madiba’s neck for many months and become a well-known accessory of the statue in London. Unfortunately it was eventually taken by a tourist as a souvenir some months later.
On a recent visit to London, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize decided Madiba might need his scarf back, and at the end of his week-long official trip to London, went to visit the statue of the struggle icon to replace the original South African scarf around Madiba’s neck, as a symbol of pride and respect for the former statesman.
Image: Reinhardt Hartzenberg