11 Jul Bronze statue of Ronald Reagan adorns London square

A tall bronze statue of former President Ronald Reagan was unveiled Monday in a central London square, in recognition of his “contribution to ending the Cold War.”

The three-metre-tall custom bronze statue was inaugurated in the presence of former U.S. secretary Condoleezza Rice and William Hague, Britain’s foreign secretary.

This life sized statue is positioned in Grosvenor Square, opposite the U.S. embassy in central London, next to other real life statues of ex-presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Franklin D Roosevelt.

A piece of concrete from the Berlin Wall will be installed in front of the base to symbolize Reagan’s role in the collapse of the Cold War.

Reagan, who was U.S. president from 1981 to 1989, famously urged former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 to “tear down this Wall.” Reagan died in 2004.

The Berlin Wall, erected by the Communist regime of former East Germany, fell on Nov. 9, 1989, amid the wave of popular protest that swept away the Soviet-dominated regimes of Eastern Europe and led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, a staunch ally and personal friend of the Republican president, was too frail to attend Monday’s ceremony, Hague confirmed.

A message from the 85-year-old, read out by Hague, praised Reagan as a “true leader for our times” whose strength and conviction had “brought millions of people to freedom as the Iron Curtain came down.”

Hague described Reagan, who would have turned 100 in February, as a “giant of 20th Century history.” This life size sculpture truly embodies this larger than life legacy.

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