Hidden London: New Statues


New statues and memorials appear in London more frequently than you think (not all of them good, as we’ve seen here). A memorial to the Bali bombing was unveiled in 2002, and four years before that, Westminster Abbey gained ten discreet new statues.

These have been placed in empty alcoves in the same design as others, so they barely notice. They are martyrs chosen by the Abbey represent religious persecution and oppression in each continents. Among them are victims of the nazism, communism and religious prejudice in Africa.

You can find them above the west gate, on plinths which have been empty since the Middle Ages.

They made me wonder about empty plinths. What happened to the statues that surrounded they Unilever building on the North side of Blackfriars Bridge? After they cleaned the building a few years back, I noticed that they had disappeared. Did they get flogged off, or go to museums?

4 comments on “Hidden London: New Statues”

  1. I.A.M. says:

    I am currently standing upon one of the missing plinths. Sadly, it’s directly underneath two more of them, so the effect is somewhat affected.

  2. Helen Martin says:

    You are in error, IAM. It is the statues that are missing, not the plinths, unless you have been stealing plinths.

  3. Helen Martin says:

    I saw those new statues and it is quite surprising the way they fit in with the ancient figures.

  4. Richard says:


    The statues that were on the Unilever building are sitting rotting in a field somewehere in Essex the last I heard.

    Apparently they represented the slave trade, and so in this P.C. world the architect / owner of the building decided not to replace them.

    Although rather interestingly, they were not made of stone, but some kind of material similar to fibreglass, and then covered in concrete to look like stone. (I was woring on the building whilst BOVIS were doing the refurbishment works)

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