Page last updated at 17:26 GMT, Monday, 18 August 2008 18:26 UK

Johnson backs slavery memorial

Slavery memorial statue design
The memorial statue will be created by Les Johnson. Pic by Colin Patterson

The mayor of London Boris Johnson has given his support to a campaign to create a permanent slavery memorial statue in Hyde Park.

Memorial 2007 wants to commemorate the millions of Africans enslaved during the Transatlantic slave trade.

But the voluntary group needs to raise 1.5m to finance the sculpture and memorial garden.

A design of the statue is being exhibited at London's City Hall from Monday until 1 December.

Mr Johnson said: "It is important that this era in our history is never forgotten.

"Hyde Park is a fitting site for a permanent memorial to the millions who lost their lives and the courageous people who fought to end the brutal transatlantic slave trade."

The park's Rose Garden has been chosen as the location for the statute, which will be created by the sculptor Les Johnson.

The exhibition at City Hall will mark International Slavery Memorial Day on 23 August.




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