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11 December 2009

Find Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square

Your author was lucky enough to be present in Parliament Square when Nelson Mandela came a little over two years ago to witness the unveiling of a statue to him opposite the mother of all Parliaments. At the time, he was in the process of preparing the celebrations for his 90th birthday. He ended up deciding on a concert in Hyde Park last year, and let's hope he got a nice cake.

On the day, Mandela recalled the story of how Mandela and his friend Oliver Tambo visited in the early 1960s and joked about their hope that one day a statue of a black person would be erected there, alongside that of the former South African leader General Jan Smuts.

7,000 people were present for the unveiling of the 9ft figure in a trademark Mandela flowery shirt, on the day that he joined Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill. Shortly afterwards, a statue of David Lloyd George arrived and debate started about whether the Square was getting too crowded. Your author thinks it is fine.

For more, see http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/aug/30/southafrica.artnews

^Picture by victoriapeckham^

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