Leeds women statue plans divide opinion

Date: 7th March 2017.
Picture James Hardisty.
Nymphs, statues City Square, Leeds.
Date: 7th March 2017. Picture James Hardisty. Nymphs, statues City Square, Leeds.
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Calls for a statue to be built in Leeds to commemorate the efforts and achievements of women from the city have divided opinion.

On International Women’s Day, the Yorkshire Evening Post yesterday backed the idea of Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves and Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake for a prominent artwork celebrating females to be installed.

Leeds women's statue story
Coun Judith Blake, Leader Leeds City Council , Hannah Thaxter, Editor, Yorkshire Evening Post and Rachel Reeves MP Leeds West   mon 6th march 2017

Leeds women's statue story Coun Judith Blake, Leader Leeds City Council , Hannah Thaxter, Editor, Yorkshire Evening Post and Rachel Reeves MP Leeds West mon 6th march 2017

The only statues of women in Leeds – apart from small plaques and stones – are of Queen Victoria in Woodhouse Moor, a series of nymphs around City Square and 
Henry Moore’s Reclining Woman: Elbow outside the Art Gallery.

And mixed responses to the plan – which would most likely be funded through donations – have been posted on our social media pages.

One person, commenting as ‘leodisjim’, said: “A great idea, Beryl Burton was a true sporting legend and should be commemorated properly in the city as should the Barnbow girls. Let’s get it organised.”

And Facebook user Victoria Wood said that double Olympic boxing champ Nicola Adams should be given a statue.

But reader Amy Green said: “I’d much rather we used the money to invest in women across the city.

“Sex education, planned parenthood. Parenting classes for those at risk. Let’s use the money for something tangible.”

Notable women from the city include suffragette social reformer Mary Gawthorpe, novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford and late charity campaigner Jane Tomlinson.

The YEP is asking for your suggestions about which Leeds woman or women should be remembered with a work of art. Get in touch on Facebook or @LeedsNews on Twitter.

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