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Richard III: Ideas flood in to relocate statue of Leicester's car park king


Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby has received dozens of responses after asking the public for suggestions on where to move Leicester's Richard III statue.

The sculpture, which stands in Castle Gardens, was a gift to the city from the Richard III Society in 1980. It gazes out over Bow Bridge, where the Plantagenet king rode out to Bosworth Battlefield in 1485.

His remains were uncovered by University of Leicester archaeologists 528 years later.

Following the discovery – less than a mile away from the where the statue stands – Sir Peter said he wanted the monument in a more prominent location.

However, of 51 responses received by the city council, 18 have said they wish the statue to remain where it is.

Another 14 people have suggested moving it to outside the cathedral.

Alternatives also include Town Hall Square, Highcross, Gallowtree Gate and Jubilee Square. Four people said it should stand at the Greyfriars dig site.

One reply suggested relocating the statue next to the M1.

Sir Peter said: "I've always said moving it is just one option.

"Of course, if people want it to stay where it is then I'm happy for it to stay at Castle Gardens.

"But if it turns out that the majority want it moved then I think somewhere such as the cathedral is ideal.

"It's near the dig site and it's where the body will be laid to rest."

Sir Peter said a decision would be made within the next few weeks following advice from council officers and outside groups including the civic society.

The proposal to move the statue has been welcomed by the Richard III Society.

Philippa Langley, who launched the search for Richard's remains four years ago, said: "I really love the idea of Greyfriars or the cathedral.

"It's not that I don't love it in Castle Gardens, but it's so out of the way there." She said it would be much better if the statue was closer to the proposed visitors' centre, where more people could see it.

"I've said it before, it's my favourite statue of Richard III because it shows him as the warrior king and I want to share it with everyone," Ms Langley said.

Former Blue Badge guide Diana Courtney used to take tours to Castle Gardens as part of her Richard III walks.

She said: "I think if Sir Peter is going to move it anywhere it should be to the Cathedral Gardens – it's being renovated and it's near to the visitor centre."

Readers have also been leaving their suggestions on the Mercury website.

User EOSD7 wrote: "Place this statue somewhere symbolic to the county and near a motorway. It could be paid for by city and county business."

Maccy said: "Victoria Park, close to the university."

Richard III: Ideas flood in to relocate statue of Leicester's car park king

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