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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Virginia Woolf statue approved amid concerns over ‘insensitivity’ of riverside location

However, proponents for the sculpture say that to “hide” the famous resident of Richmond in a residential street would be offensive to her legacy.

Aurora Metro, a charity which has planned and been fundraising for the life-size figure, said: “Efforts by the Richmond Society to change the location of the statue which has been chosen for many practical reasons […] comes across as an attempt to push people like her out of sight.

“The statue’s intent is to celebrate diverse lives and encourage conversations around mental health, feminism, sexuality and gender. This cannot be done if the statue is tucked away on a residential street.”]

Statue placement ‘encourages discussion of mental health issues’

Councillors at the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames added that it encourages the discussion of mental health issues after it was unanimously approved by the council’s environment, sustainability, culture and sports committee earlier this week.

“It encourages discussion of mental health issues,” said Cllr James Chard of the Liberal Democrats.

“People should not be defined by the existence of mental health issues that they’ve had and by the manner of their death. To move it away from the proposed location would be to allow Virginia Woolf to be defined in that way.”

Cllr Kate Howard, of the Conservatives, said: “I think it would be very poignant to have a statue near the river as a reminder of how easily water can overcome you.”

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