Nelson Mandela memorial planned for park

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 are moving forward   – and the city could stage major exhibitions marking the centenary of his birth.

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.

The campaign – which has been endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and is now its official patron– is aiming to raise £250,000 for the memorial. It 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.

A fund-raising event for the memorial, “Living the Legacy” will be held at Everton Football Club on Friday 4 November when a panel of sports stars, writers and commentators will be in conversation. Those talking part include former Liverpool FC stars John Barnes and Howard Gayle, England footballer Trevor Sinclair and Olympian Anyike Onuora. It will be compared by author Emeka Onuora.

Representatives from the Nelson Mandela Foundation, including chief executive Sello Hatang will be at the event,

They are in the city to discuss proposals to bring two major exhibitions to the UK in 2018 as part of UN Mandela Day with Liverpool being a host city with London.

And they also want to publish an educational comic book linked to the school curriculum. Liverpool City Council is backing both these proposals.

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, the Campaign Director, 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. “