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To mark International Women’s Day, St George’s Hall Charitable Trust has announced its intention to install a statue of Mary Seacole in the Great Hall – a woman believed to be Britain’s first nurse practitioner who devoted her time to nursing soldiers during the Crimean War.
The trustees believe this statue will not only pay tribute to the heroine, but it will also act as a ‘thank you’ to the NHS and the extraordinary sacrifices they have made in keeping everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
An application process for artists is now open to register interest towards creating a marble portrait statue that will take pride of place in the stunning Great Hall.
The Mary Seacole statue will be the second female represented in St George’s Hall – the first was of pioneering health campaigner Kitty Wilkinson.
In 2012, the Trust commissioned and installed the statue of Catherine “Kitty” Wilkinson, the first monument to a historic woman to be placed in St George’s Hall. Kitty’s statue and the story of her promotion of pioneering hygiene methods against disease has since been recognised by hundreds of thousands of in-person and online visitors to the Great Hall, who have admired and learned about her crucial role in countering Liverpool’s devastating cholera epidemic of 1832.
The historic bravery of women like Kitty Wilkinson and Mary Seacole – their care, their kindness, and their leadership – stand as markers of what is best in our society, that continues today in the dedication and fearlessness of our NHS and health care workers.
If the Trust’s campaign is successful, Mary Seacole’s statue will take its rightful place in the Great Hall, alongside the statues of Kitty Wilkinson and Liverpool’s founding fathers, an enduring testament to her place in our collective history that will never again be ignored or forgotten.
The trust says that their mission begins with a call-out for sculptors to respond to this amazing opportunity.
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