Lord Byron: 200th Anniversary - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords am 2:53 pm ar 16 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) 2:53, 16 Ebrill 2024

The noble Earl is right to point out that the Government have moved rather slowly in this instance. Part of the difficulty has been the question of the ownership of the statue. I am very pleased that my department has been able to break that impasse by taking responsibility for the statue, so that it can indeed be moved into the main part of Hyde Park. It is currently stranded on an island far less enticing and accessible than those of the Peloponnese that Lord Byron frequented. Once the statue is moved to its new location, subject to the planning permission which is currently before Westminster City Council, the Government are happy to treat it as a retained asset, which means that the regular maintenance will be the responsibility of the Royal Parks but any major repairs needed will be the responsibility of my department. I saw the chief executive and chairman of the Royal Parks this morning for a catch-up on progress. The fundraising effort is being led brilliantly by the Byron Society, which I am delighted is holding a dinner here in your Lordships’ House on Friday, the actual anniversary of Lord Byron’s death, which will be addressed by my noble friend Lord Roberts of Belgravia.