Thatcher statue may go on display

March 1, 2013 at 10:50 AM
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GRANTHAM, England, March 1 (UPI) -- A statue of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher may be displayed in her hometown because opponents have dropped their opposition, officials said.

Town leaders had been at odds about displaying a statue in Grantham, saying they feared it could be a target for vandals and protesters, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

Grantham Labor Councilor Charmaine Morgan, who previously said displaying a statue would be "asking for trouble," called on the Conservative majority to support the proposal to put it on display.

"To offer hope to local people the [Labor councilors] will propose a range of initiatives to encourage tourists into Grantham. This includes a new craft center located in the heart of town. We also propose an exhibit and statue/bust of Lady Thatcher," Morgan said.

"Contrary to some rumors, despite our personal strength of feeling about her, we feel the controversy and outside interest around Lady Thatcher provides an opportunity to attract international tourists to our town," she said.

Morgan suggested a secure location such as the town's museum or the George Center shopping and business complex could be considered.

Last month, Grantham museum manager Jayne Robb was suspended after making the "erroneous" claim that a white marble statue of Thatcher had been offered to the town.

A small plaque at the former grocery shop and post office where Margaret Hilda Roberts grew up is the only recognition of the town's connection with Thatcher, who was prime minister from 1979 to 1990, making her the longest-serving prime minister.

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