THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
The statue of President Ronald Reagan, seen by thousands of Americans as they visited the former US embassy in London's Grosvenor Square, has been removed. According to the Sunday Express it has been put into storage by the site's new owner, the real estate developer Qatari Diar.
The statue was unveiled in 2011 in the Mayfair square, in the area known by generations as ‘Little America'. Grosvenor Square's links with the United States date back to 1785 when John Adams lived there as he established the first American mission to the Court of St. James's. During World War II, General Dwight D Eisenhower had his headquarters at 20 Grosvenor Square, and in 1960 a modernist new US Embassy was built, taking up the whole of the western side of the square. Following the decision to build a new embassy in Nine Elms, south of the River Thames, the Grosvenor Square site was sold to Qatari Diar. It was granted Grade II listed status, so the new owners cannot change the facade, including the huge gilded aluminum eagle over the main entrance.
On April 21, in the House of Commons, Andrew Rosindell, Conservative MP for Romford, said: "I was deeply concerned at the weekend following reports in the Sunday Express that the statue of the great United States President Ronald Reagan that once stood in Grosvenor Square has been removed and remains out of public sight ... President Reagan was a true friend to the United Kingdom who, alongside Margaret Thatcher, ended the cold war and supported Britain during the liberation of the Falkland Islands." He suggested that the President Reagan's statue should be given a prominent location on Parliament Square, "so that visitors from home and across the globe can honour this remarkable man".
Boris Johnson. Prime Minister, agreed with Mr Rosindell, but said that he could not order the statue to be erected outside Parliament: "President Reagan ... was a very distinguished president. It is not up to me to install a statue for him; I think that is for the Greater London Authority. I think he has to appeal to the current Mayor of London, although let us hope that there is a new one to do justice to the memory of Ronald Reagan."
However, the suggestion was summarily rejected by London's Labour mayor, Sadiq Khan, whose spokesperson said: "There are no plans for a statue of Ronald Reagan in Parliament Square."
If you are an overseas American, whether Democrat, Republican or Independent, what do you think? Should President Reagan's statue be displayed in a significant location in London? Email email@example.com and share your thoughts.