The statue of Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square is being uncovered ahead of the French President’s visit to London – but monuments to Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi will stay hidden behind protective screens.
The statues were boarded up, along with the Cenotaph, ahead of protests which saw far-right demonstrators clash with police near the Palace of Westminster and Trafalgar Square on Saturday.
Some demonstrators claimed to be guarding the statue of Winston Churchill as well as the Cenotaph.
The weekend previously, there had been violent scenes in the capital during a Black Lives Matter protest triggered by the death of George Floyd in the US.
The monument of former prime minister Sir Winston was daubed with graffiti accusing him of being a racist.
A spokesman for Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said the covering around the Churchill statue will be taken down on Wednesday ahead of Emmanuel Macron’s visit the following day.
“The covering around the Winston Churchill statue will be removed for the visit of President Macron to London,” he said.
But the protective boards around the statues of Mandela and Gandhi, which the mayor is also responsible for, will stay in place “under review”.
Boards around the Cenotaph were taken down on Monday night, English Heritage confirmed.
The French premier’s visit marks the 80th anniversary of General Charles de Gaulle’s appeal to the French population to resist the German occupation of France during the Second World War.
Mr Macron will be welcomed to London with a ceremonial Guard of Honour from The Coldstream Guards at Clarence House and a flypast by the RAF’s Red Arrows alongside their French counterparts, La Patrouille de France.