Backlash Over Amount Of Statues Of Women In London Compared To Animals
A comprehensive audit has sparked a heated debate after it revealed there are more statues of animals in London than women.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced a £1 million funding plan to make sure the city’s diversity, and all those who have contributed to helping the capital become what it is, are accurately reflected by its landmarks.
However, a study has revealed just how necessary the plan is, after it showed there are only half as many statues of women as there are of animals.
The investigation was the first thorough audit of London’s public monuments and sculptures, funded partly by City Hall. It took place as part of an Art UK national research project and analysed around 1,500 monuments, revealing some controversial results.
Out of the nearly 1,500 monuments in London, only 4% are in honour of named women, compared to 20.5% of named men, The Guardian reports.
It also found a total of almost 100 featured animals, which doubled the amount to feature women.
Moreover, only 0.2% of the statues in the capital were found to represent named women of colour, and 0.9%, men of colour; totalling just 1% of all the sculptures being in honour of people of colour.
The information caused backlash from the public, who took to Twitter to express their concern. One said: ‘So do we build a load of new statues, or tear down the old ones? Which is a better use of public funds?’
A lot of new women statues is the way that we are going. However due to misogyny, this is an issue. We have statues of Churchill yet few dare put up statues of Thatcher.
A third commented: ‘The point is that women are underrepresented at all levels. Statues mostly represent men and streets are more often named for men than women.’
In order to update public spaces to properly reflect the city and those who have contributed to it, the Commission of Diversity in the Public Realm is giving grants of up to £25,000 and encouraging community-led organisations to apply. Khan’s funding is the first stage of the plan.
The mayor’s office noted how the plan hopes to ‘ensure we are told a fuller version of our capital’s story’, by taking on suggestions for new street names and street artwork.
In order to update London’s landmarks to be more inclusive, 15 new panellists were selected to join the new Landmark Commission last February.
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