Statue of Nelson Mandela unveiled at Parliament Square in London
On 29 August 2007, a statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled at Parliament Square in London by Richard Attenborough, Ken Livingstone, Wendy Woods, and Gordon Brown. The campaign to erect the statue was started in 2000 by the late Donald Woods, a South African journalist driven into exile because of his anti-apartheid activities. Mandela stated that it represented not just him, but all those who have resisted oppression, especially those in South Africa. He added: "The history of the struggle in South Africa is rich with the stories of heroes and heroines, some of them leaders, some of them followers. All of them deserve to be remembered."[
Mr Mandela, 89, his wife Graca Machel, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown were among those at the unveiling in Parliament Square.
Mr Brown hailed Mr Mandela as the "greatest and most courageous leader of our generation".
The late South African anti-apartheid activist Donald Woods had the idea for the 9ft-high (2.7m) bronze statue.
Talking to crowds who gathered for the unveiling, Mr Mandela said: "Though this statue is of one man, it should in actual fact symbolise all of those who have resisted oppression, especially in my country."
Today (Wednesday 29 August), Nelson Mandela and his wife Graca Machel will see a nine foot (2.74m) bronze statue of himself unveiled in Parliament Square, in honour of his struggle and that of many others against apartheid.
The statue will be unveiled by Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, anti-apartheid campaigner Wendy Woods, and the Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The event is being attended by Lord Attenborough and other public figures, anti-apartheid campaigners, community and church representatives and thousands of members of the public.
It marks the culmination of a seven-year campaign for the statue to be erected in central London, lead by the Mayor of London, Wendy Woods and Lord Attenborough, following the initial proposal by Mrs Woods' late husband Donald in 2000.
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: 'The statue of Nelson Mandela is to be placed in Parliament Square to demonstrate that the struggle of the South African people to overcome the tyranny of the racist apartheid state was itself the struggle for universal human rights.
'Humanity's greatest causes are embodied in the cause of the South African people against apartheid, the cause of the struggle against tyranny.