Nelson Mandela memorial moves closer with funding boost

Campaigners who are raising funds for a Nelson Mandela memorial at Princes Park Toxteth. Images by Gareth Jones

Plans to create a memorial to Nelson Mandela in a Liverpool park have been boosted by the allocation of funding towards a new bridge.

The Nelson Mandela Campaign is aiming to create a contemporary artwork on the island at Princes Park, Liverpool 8. This will celebrate and commemorate Nelson Mandela’s life and work on what would have been his 100th birthday in 2018

At a recent Cabinet meeting, the city council earmarked £68,000 towards installing a new bridge to the island at Princes Park lake as part of the £250,000 plans.

The campaign – which has been endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and is now its official patron -has appointed art advisory team Contemporary Arts Society, the UK’s leading contemporary arts advisory team to recruit the artist who will develop the design concept.

It is supported by Liverpool City Council, the North West TUC and National Museums Liverpool.

Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “The memorial will be a permanent celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and work. He was made a Freeman of the City in 1994 and it is very fitting that Liverpool should be aiming to honour him.

“It will also be a fantastic accolade for the city if we can stage the exhibitions to mark the centenary of his birth in 2018.”

Sonia Bassey and Stephen Nze from the campaign, said: “We are aiming to create a unique artwork which will celebrate and commemorate Nelson Mandela’s outstanding achievement for
humanity and will bring visitors and tourists to the park.

“This city has a long affiliation to Nelson Mandela and the chosen space of the Island in Princes Park creates an opportunity to break down barriers, build bridges and create links on many levels connected to humanity and diversity. Nelson Mandela was incarcerated on an island for 18 years of his imprisonment.

“Day by day, our dream becomes a reality. At 17 years of age, we became passionate about world politics through hearing about and backing the ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ campaign, a passion which has stayed with us throughout our lives.

“To leave a legacy that is not only fitting to such a significant leader of our time, but that will also become an educational platform for the future is something to be very proud of.”