United Kingdom

Girl, 13, behind a bid to erect a statue of Mary Anning accuses officials of being too old

A girl behind a bid to erect a statue of fossil hunter Mary Anning has accused officials of being dinosaurs for jeopardising the project.

Evie Swire, 13, and her mother Anya Pearson set up a charity and raised £150,000 for a tribute to the pioneer palaeontologist in her home town of Lyme Regis, Dorset.

They had hoped to unveil the 8ft statue next May – the 222nd anniversary of her birth – but they have hit a wall of bureaucracy.

Evie Swire, 13, and her mother Anya Pearson have raised £150,000 for a statue (pictured: scaled-down model) of fossil hunter Mary Anning in her home town of Lyme Regis, Dorset

The proposed seafront site for the statue is owned by Dorset Council and it has told Miss Pearson staff are too busy to deal with the plans. 

Sculptor Denise Dutton may also struggle to fit the work into her schedule if the go-ahead is not given soon.

Miss Pearson, 53, said campaigning had ground to a halt because men 'of a certain age and class' refused to acknowledge the importance of a working-class woman.

'Evie was ten when she started this,' she added. 

Anning's life was the subject of Ammonite, a 2020 film starring Kate Winslet alongside Saoirse Ronan (both pictured) as Charlotte Murchison

'She's a teenager now and she's just so fed up with it and doesn't understand why all these blockages are happening. 

'She said it felt like it was being run by a bunch of dinosaurs. Nothing has changed in 200 years.'

A council spokesman said it hoped to resolve the red tape issues in time.

Anning's life was the subject of Ammonite, a 2020 film starring Kate Winslet.

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