Mary Anning statue could cost up to £300k

A STATUE of famous fossil hunter Mary Anning could cost between £250,000 to £300,000 but campaigners keen to see the memorial erected in Lyme Regis say they won’t be taking any funding from the public purse.

A public meeting was held last week to discuss the possibility of erecting a statue of Mary Anning in her hometown Lyme Regis.

The idea has been mooted several times before but is now being taken forward by town and district councillor Cheryl Reynolds, after she was contacted by 10-year-old Dorchester resident Evie Swire, who asked why there was no memorial for the pioneering palaeontologist.

Councillor Reynolds has been working with Evie’s mum Anya Pearson and designer Esther Yarnold to launch the campaign Mary Anning Rocks with social media pages already set up and a website coming soon.

Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Reynolds said a “tremendous” amount of work had already gone into the project and it had attracted the interest of several international artists, celebrities and well-known names from the world of science.

She said a high-quality bronze statue produced by a reputable artist would cost between £250,000 to £300,000 but she emphasised that they would not be seeking any money from the council.

Instead, money would be raised through crowdfunding and donations from those who had an interest in honouring Mary Anning.

Councillor Reynolds said she did not anticipate any problems in raising such a large sum, as the project had already gained significant support.

Town councillor Jeff Scowen questioned where the statue would be located, but Councillor Reynolds said she wanted to get the project established before discussing a location.

Councillor Scowen added: “It will be phenomenally good for tourism and for the town.”

A committee was set up to take the project forward, with Councillor Reynolds acting as chairman.

The Mary Anning Rocks website will be launched soon, where you can currently find links to the campaign’s social media pages.

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