Planning permission was granted last night for a statue of the Suffragist leader Dame Millicent Fawcett (1847-1929) to stand in Parliament Square. It is a commission of firsts; Gillian Wearing is the first female artist to be appointed to produce an artwork for the historic square, and this will be the first statue of a woman to stand amongst eleven statesmen. CAS Consultancy have been managing the commission, which has the backing of both the Mayor’s Office and the UK Government.
Fawcett formed the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies in 1897 and the bronze will also acknowledge the contributions of the many other supporters involved in the struggle for universal suffrage, including Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “This will be one of the most momentous and significant statues of our time and I know that Gillian Wearing’s exceptional talent and unique insight will do great justice to the movement and Millicent Fawcett’s legacy.
“We want this statue to depict the strength and determination of the women who dedicated their lives to the fight for women’s suffrage and to inspire many generations to come – and I know Gillian’s creation will do just that.”
Wearing said: “I am really delighted that planning has been granted. Now Millicent Fawcett’s statue can stand as an equal among male statues in Parliament Square.”