Eva Bolander is the Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow. The Swedish-born councillor made history as the first EU national chosen to be the city’s first citizen.
It is fitting that the memorial campaign is being supported by the Lord Provost of the first city in the world to grant Nelson Mandela the Freedom of the City. Thanks to this initiative, 2,500 mayors from 56 different countries eventually signed a declaration demanding the release of Nelson Mandela. It was presented to the United Nations in New York in the year 1981.
At the launch of the campaign she said: “It was 24 years ago today – on the 9th of October 1993 – the late, great Nelson Mandela came to Glasgow to receive his award of Freeman of the City of Glasgow and of eight other cities and boroughs across the United Kingdom.
“I’m proud to say, Glasgow was the first city in the world to award him this honour. It took that decision in 1981 while Mandela was still imprisoned by a racist apartheid regime.
“And Glasgow has continued to play a prominent and steadfast role in the struggle to see Mandela, and others, released; and to end apartheid. Apartheid ended in 1994 with South Africa’s historic and memorable first free and democratic elections that led to a huge African National Congress victory and Mandela being made the first President of a free and democratic South Africa.
“I’m delighted to welcome the Nelson Mandela Scottish Memorial Foundation to the city and lend my support to its aims to erect a statue and increase knowledge and understanding of Mandela and his iconic place in history. His vision and tireless campaigning helped secure his countrymen and women’s freedom and human rights.”