Statue of Jan Smuts, Parliament Square

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The statue in 2013

A life-size bronze statue of Jan Smuts by the British artist Jacob Epstein stands on the north side of Parliament Square in London, United Kingdom, between a statue of Lord Palmerston and a statue of David Lloyd George.[1]

Smuts served as an army general and as a member of the Imperial War Cabinet in the First World War, and then served as Prime Minister of South Africa twice, from 1919 to 1924 and from then 1939 to 1948. The statue depicts him in his military uniform as a field marshal, leaning forward with his left leg advanced, as if walking forward. The statue stands on a pedestal of granite from South Africa, which bears the inscription JAN/ CHRISTIAN/ SMUTS/ 1870–1950.

After Winston Churchill won the 1951 UK general election in October 1951, he proposed erecting a statue in Parliament Square as a memorial to Smuts, who had died in September 1950. Churchill retired as prime minister in 1955, and was too ill to perform the unveiling in November 1956; it was unveiled instead by the Speaker of the House of Commons, William Morrison. The statue became a Grade II listed building in 1970.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Statues". Greater London Authority. Retrieved 5 August 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′03″N 0°07′37″W / 51.50087°N 0.12690°W / 51.50087; -0.12690