Egging of Thatcher Statue Begins Quickly in Hometown

Memorial to prime ministers renews debate about her legacy
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2022 12:25 PM CDT
New Thatcher Statue Receives Its First Egging
A statue of Margaret Thatcher is lowered into place in her hometown of Grantham, England, on Sunday.   (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)

A new statue of Margaret Thatcher stood for not two hours Sunday in the former UK prime minister's hometown before the first egg was thrown. A man at a temporary fence began pelting the statue in Grantham, emitting a shout when one hit its target. The statue's reception reflected the English town's ambivalence about Thatcher, the Guardian reports. Some people stopped at the statue for selfies, as people passing in cars booed. To complicate vandalism attempts, the statue was installed atop a 10-foot plinth, and surveillance cameras were installed, per the BBC.

The statue provides fresh evidence of the UK's divide over Thatcher's leadership. Many turned their backs to her hearse at her funeral in 2013. The statue first was planned to stand near Parliament, a proposal the Westminster Council declined in 2018. Grantham then accepted the statue, though opposition peaked when the town planned an unveiling to cost more than $100,000. There was interest, however, in an egg-throwing contest suggested by a Facebook group to mark the installation. A privately funded ceremony is planned for a later date.

Until now, the only memorial to Thatcher in town has been a plaque marking the spot where she was born in 1925. The statue was placed near the site of a grocery Thatcher's family owned, and the local museum now has an exhibition on her life. "It is recognized that the full spectrum of views exist in Grantham about the legacy of Margaret Thatcher," said Graham Jeal, who's affiliated with the museum. The prime minister was born, raised, and education in Grantham, a local politician points out, which makes it the ideal place to host the ongoing debate about her legacy. "This memorial will be a talking point for generations to come," Kelham Cooke said. (More Margaret Thatcher stories.)

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