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New Gandhi statue wins go-ahead

Planning permission has been granted for a statue commemorating the leader of India's independence movement, Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi, outside the Houses of Parliament in London.

Plans for the statue were announced by Chancellor George Osborne and Foreign Secretary William Hague in July during a visit to the site of Gandhi's assassination in New Delhi.

Westminster City Council has now given the go-ahead for the erection of the bronze memorial, on the far side of Parliament Square from the Palace of Westminster, close to the existing statue of fellow freedom fighter Nelson Mandela.

The sculpture by Philip Jackson, who has also created memorials to Bomber Command, the Gurkhas and the Korean War , shows Gandhi wearing a shawl and traditional dhoti skirt, with his hands clasped.

Inspired by photographs of Gandhi on the steps of 10 Downing Street during a visit to London in 1931, the statue portrays him as " a thoughtful, determined, compassionate man", according to documents submitted to the council in support of the application.

Richard Beddoe, Westminster City Council's deputy cabinet member for the built environment, said: "There is no doubting that Gandhi is a world-renowned figure that should stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Nelson Mandela and Abraham Lincoln, who also both fought for civil liberties.

"Parliament Square has a long history of peaceful protest and democracy in action. As such, it is a more than suitable location for a statue to Mahatma Gandhi, and we are also pleased to see one of the best international sculptors in Philip Jackson on board to help deliver this project."


From Belfast Telegraph