A statue of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was installed last Sunday in her hometown of Grantham in Lincolnshire, reports Sky News. A memorial not far from the grocery store owned by the Thatcher family and the local museum, where a special exhibition is dedicated to the famous native of the city, was opened without solemn ceremonies. The authorities feared that a monument to such a controversial figure as Thatcher might cause not only pride, but also discontent among Grantham residents.
The bronze statue was installed on a 3-meter-high plinth and fenced off to make it harder to damage it in the event of protests. Immediately after the installation, some of the pedestrians passing by stopped to take selfies. However, whistles came from most of the passing cars. Finally, two hours after the opening, a man appeared behind the barrier and started throwing eggs at the bronze Thatcher, and one of the eggs reached the target. Commenting on the incident, Labor Party spokesman Lee Steptoe said it was "absolutely inevitable": "The statue could not have been the target of petty vandalism. She was probably the most controversial prime minister in history."
Authorities in Grantham, where Thatcher was born and graduated from high school, believe the monument will help draw attention to the city. Initially, a statue by sculptor Douglas Jennings was planned to be installed next to the Houses of Parliament in London, but in 2018 the authorities abandoned this, saying that too little time had passed since Thatcher's death, who died in 2013. Thereafter, the statue was offered to Grantham, and the Grantham Public Heritage Association supported the idea of having it installed.
Lincolnshire Police confirmed they had received reports of damage to the statue. There have been no arrests yet, an investigation is underway.
This is not the first time that a sculpture of Margaret Thatcher has been attacked. In July 2002, theater producer Paul Kelleher smashed the marble statue of the prime minister at the Guildhall Art Gallery. Kelleher attacked her, armed with a bat hidden in his pants, and then decapitated the statue with a metal pole found nearby. At trial, Kelleher said the attack was an act of artistic expression on his part. He was sentenced to three months in prison.