Famous statue to get a golden highlight

The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines pass the William Wilberforce Monument in Hull on Yorkshire Day
The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines pass the William Wilberforce Monument in Hull on Yorkshire Day
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Plans have been submitted to make Hull’s landmark William Wilberforce statue look even more spectacular when it is lit up as part of City of Culture celebrations.

The William Wilberforce Monument Fund wants the scroll held in Wilberforce’s hand to be gilded in gold leaf, to enhance the statue in Queens Gardens.

The 102-ft statue was erected in 1834 after funds were raised through voluntary subscription to commemorate Hull’s world famous son, and £10,000 has been fundraised to make it stand out next year.

One of the Culture year’s key themes is Freedom. Chairman of the trustees Gifty Burrows said: “It is such an iconic structure and it so significant for Hull but we wanted it to be better seen.”

WWMF is working with Nayan Kulkarni, the lighting artist commissioned by Hull Council to illuminate the city’s “sculptures in the sky” including Holy Trinity Church and the statue of Britannia on top of the Guildhall.

After a test lighting last year the artist suggested gilding the scroll - which represents the Act of Parliament abolishing slavery in the British colonies - so it would stand out against the dark gritsone of the statue. Wilberforce headed the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade for 26 years until the Slave Trade Act was passed in 1807.

He died in 1833 - three days after hearing that the Slavery Abolition Act would pass through Parliament.