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New statue to be built to honour Mary Seacole

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A new statue in memory of nurse and Crimean War heroine Mary Seacole is to be built near the Houses of Parliament.

The announcement was made this week by Lord Soley of Hammersmith, chairman of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal.

The memorial of the Jamaican born nurse, who treated soldiers during the Crimean war, will be placed opposite the Houses of Parliament, in the grounds of St Thomas’ Hospital.

Eight artists, including Maurice Bilk, Joy Gregory, Martin Jennings, Susan Stockwell and Bill Woodrow, have been shortlisted by a Panel chaired by Baroness Amos, to present their designs.

Panel members include Stephen McGuire, director of capital, estates and facilities, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Professor Elizabeth Anionwu, head of the Mary Seacole Centre for Nursing Practice at Thames Valley University.

Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd will be sponsoring the construction of the memorial.

On 27 April-12 May the eight shortlisted artists will have their initial proposals displayed in the windows of Coutts & Co at 440, The Strand.

On 13 May Baroness Amos will announce the chosen artist at the Guards Museum in Birdcage Walk, in an event which will feature contributions from the armed forces and the actress Cleo Sylvestre as Mary Seacole.

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