£250k bronze statue bid to honour Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela (then) President of the African National Congress, at a reception in Glasgow City Chambers to receive the freedom of nine UK cities in October 1993.
Nelson Mandela (then) President of the African National Congress, at a reception in Glasgow City Chambers to receive the freedom of nine UK cities in October 1993.

A charity Trust has launched a campaign to create a statue of South African leader Nelson Mandela in the Glasgow street which now bears his name.

The effort aims to celebrate the centenary of his birth in 2018, which is also the 25th anniversary of his 1993 visit to Glasgow – where he collected the Freedoms of nine UK cities.

A competition has been organised to select a sculptor for the task of designing a suitable bronze statue to be placed on a six foot plinth in Nelson Mandela Place.

The Nelson Mandela Scottish Memorial Foundation’s campaign officially starts on October 9, with the aim both of funding the statue and increasing the knowledge and understanding of Mandela’s life and legacy.

With a target of £250,000, it will also highlight the role of Glasgow and Scotland in the international efforts to secure his release.

The City of Glasgow played a lead role in the worldwide campaign demanding Mandela’s release from his then imprisonment on Robben Island, where he had spent 27 years for attempting to overthrow South Africa’s apartheid state.

Glasgow launched an international Lord Mayors’ petition, which achieved dramatic success, and in 1984 renamed the former St George’s Place as Nelson Mandela Place.

Mandela was finally released on February 11, 1990, after rejecting three earlier conditional offers of release, and played a decisive role in ending white minority rule in South Africa.

He was inaugurated as the country’s first democratically elected President in 1994, and - as he had said he would - served a single four-year term.

He died in Johannesburg on December 5, 2013.