Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Thatcher statue

Note: Some technical glitch meant that I posted a draft of this blog prematurely on 19th June.. Apologies 

Here is a picture of a statue of Margaret Thatcher.

© Public Memorials Appeals Trust

Reportedly Thatcher's twin offspring Carol and Mark have blocked plans for its erection in Parliament Square, where it would take its place beside Churchill, Lincoln and other political giants.

Ivan Saxton, co-founder of the Public Memorials Appeal Trust which raised the £300,000 for the commission and installation, told The Mail on Sunday: “There was talk that she didn’t like it because it isn’t made of iron, but she doesn’t mind that it’s not made of iron. Carol’s upset that there’s no handbag.”

Saxton fancies himself as something of an art connoisseur. In a letter to London mayor Boris Johnson (quoted in the Mail on Sunday) he writes: '"Carol Thatcher is a philistine in the truest sense of the word because she does not recognise a wonderful work of art when she sees one."

A philistine "in the truest sense of the word" would be a member of a pentapolis in southwestern Levant comprising the five city-states of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath, from Wadi Gaza in the south to the Yarqon River in the north. But never mind that. It seems to me that Saxton is a philistine in the modern sense of the word, having execrable aesthetic judgement and a shameless belief in his own taste.

Look at the thing. It conforms to the Franklin Mint aesthetic that applies to practically all public sttatuary in the capital: the gargantuan snoggers at St Pancras, the kitsch kinder transport memorial at Liverpool Street station; the nasty Whitehall 'cloakroom' commemorating women in war, the tacky Bomber Command relief on the Embankment and the Animals at War monument in Park Lane (for my money the worst of the lot). There are many others - too many.

The identity of the Thatcher statute sculptor has for some reason not been disclosed by the trust. But look at it  again. It's really Michael Heseltine, isn't it?

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