Sculpture installed in Leicester to commemorate arrival of Ugandan Asians
The Sculptural Gateway installed in Leicester to commemorate the migration of Ugandan Asian. (Image credit: leicester.gov.uk)
A SCULPTURE has been installed in Leicester to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ugandan Asian migration to the city.
The colourful 15-foot-tall artwork put up on Belgrave Roundabout consists of an archway and features Ugandan flowers, birds and animals.
Entitled ‘Sculptural Gateway’, it symbolises the struggles faced by the people exiled from Uganda by its dictator in 1972 and Leicester’s multicultural identity.
More than 27,000 Asians arrived in the UK following their expulsion and many of them settled in Leicester.
The making and installation of the artwork cost around £200,000, funded by Leicester City Council.
Artist Anuradha Patel, a Ugandan Asian of Gujarati origin, who created the sculpture, said the people of Leicester embraced the people who arrived.
“I don’t think it was an easy transition in the first instance, but really now it’s the heart of the city,” she said.
The sculpture “and the part of Leicester’s history which it commemorates, has a relevance for a lot of people,” she said and hoped the artwork would become “a lasting focal point for people in the community and across the wider city.”
“The idea of the sculpture… is that it will encourage people to sit and talk in its vicinity and share the stories – younger people talking to older people so those things are passed on.”
The sculpture, which weighs around four tonnes, is made of galvanised steel. The landscaping of the area around it is expected to begin soon. The artwork will be officially opened next year.