Margaret Thatcher statue could go near Sir Isaac Newton

Margaret Thatcher inside the Palace of Westminster, London, on 21 February 2007
Image caption Some MPs touch the feet of the Westminster statue for luck
Margaret Thatcher statue, by Neil Simmons, at the Guildhall Art Gallery in London on 8 April 2013
Image caption A statue at London's Guildhall was decapitated in 2002 but later restored
Sit Isaac Newton statue in Grantham
Image caption The Grantham statue could be raised on a plinth, like Sir Isaac Newton
David Cameron unveiling a bust of Margaret Thatcher at the Conservative Campaign Headquarters on 18 February 2008
Image caption A sculpture at the Conservative Campaign Headquarters was unveiled in 2008
Flowers are laid in front of a wax statue of Margaret Thatcher at an exhibition centre in Shenzhen, China, following her death
Image caption A wax statue accompanies that of former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in China

A statue of Margaret Thatcher could be erected near an existing one of Sir Isaac Newton in their hometown of Grantham.

Money is being raised to commission a statue of the former prime minister, and feedback has suggested that people want it in a public place.

No decision has been made and planning permission would be needed.

Another option is to have the statue on display inside Grantham Museum, alongside other Thatcher exhibits.

Helen Goral, chairman of Grantham Museum, said she is "mindful" that the statue could potentially be vandalised if it were inside the museum.

If outside, it is likely that it would be raised on a plinth like the Sir Isaac Newton one, where people could not reach it.

"I think it's fair to say that a statue of Margaret Thatcher would be one of our most controversial exhibits," said Ms Goral.

Image caption A bronze statue by Antony Dufort was unveiled at Westminster in 2007

"However, we have a lot of experience already in dealing with artefacts that are priceless."

Feet touching

In 2002, a theatre producer decapitated a £150,000 Margaret Thatcher statue on show at London's Guildhall.

The Telegraph and The Sun reported earlier this month that a Margaret Thatcher statue in Parliament is to be roped off, along with other statues, to prevent MPs damaging it by touching the feet.

But Ms Goral hoped that people would be able to touch the feet of the Grantham statue, if they wanted to.

"It would obviously be on show but whether it is accessible for people to touch or behind a screen we would have to make that decision when the time comes," she said.

"In an ideal world I would like it to be on show and I would like people to be able to touch it."

People from all over the world visit the museum to see exhibits relating to Baroness Thatcher, including one of her suits.

Visitors have increased by about 300% since she died, and about 3,000 people have signed three books of condolence.

People can give their views on the location of the statue by visiting the project's fundraising website.

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