Date: Friday 23rd October
Location: The Round Room at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
The recently refurbished marble statue of eminent Victorian social reformer John Bright MP will be unveiled at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery on Friday October 23.
Bright’s belief in political freedom and reform inspired both Abraham Lincoln and Joseph Chamberlain.
In honour of the approaching bicentenary of Bright’s birth in 2011, the statue has undergone extensive cleaning and restoration and will soon be going on permanent display in the Museum and Art Gallery.
Sculpted by Albert Bruce Joy (1842 – 1924), the statue was commissioned by the Birmingham Liberal Association and unveiled in the Museum and Art Gallery in April 1888.
Originally from Rochdale, in 1856 Bright’s opposition to the Crimean war led to his losing his seat in Manchester. He was urged to stand for election in Birmingham which had a more active radical tradition.
Elected unopposed in 1858, Bright immediately launched his campaign for Parliamentary reform at Birmingham Town Hall. This led to the passing of the Reform Act of 1867 extending voting rights to the working class. Bright went on to serve for 30 years as MP for the city.
Bill Cash MP, a distant relative of John Bright, will be in attendance and Gisela Stuart MP will be donating a John Bright medal to the Museum.
For further information, please contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501/ 07920 750004.