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Margaret Thatcher Deserves 250-Foot Tall Statue, Backers Say

by Alexander Smith /  / Updated 

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LONDON — An improbable plan to build a 250-foot statue of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has been launched by college students.

If it ever gets constructed, the "iron colossus" at the University of Kent in Southeast England would be twice the height of the Statue of Liberty (from base to torch) and almost as tall as the U.S. Capitol.

 Margaret Thatcher. Terry O'Neill / Hulton Archive-Getty Images

It would be rendered in iron — mirroring Thatcher's nickname "The Iron Lady" — and placed on a 50-foot high marble pedestal.

The estimated cost? A mere £300 million (around $425 million), according to backers.

The plans were submitted by the Kent University Conservative Association to student leaders in the form of an online petition.

The apparent issues with the project's size and cost will be subjected to a series of administrative hurdles, including votes and debates inside the university before potentially being presented to town officials in Canterbury.

"This is not us having a joke — it is a serious proposal," 20-year-old Emilio Kyprianou, chairman of the Conservative association and the project's driving force, told NBC News on Tuesday. "This challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win."

Kyprianou concedes that he may have to tone down the statue's specifics — "a 90-foot statue would still be great" — and hopes to raise the money via a crowdfunding campaign.

According to Guinness World Records, the most money ever raised in a crowdfunding campaign was by the video game Star Citizen, which had raked in almost $40 million as of March 2014.

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As the U.K.'s only female prime minister to date, Thatcher governed between 1979 and 1990. She formed a legendary partnership with President Ronald Reagan and died in 2013.

However, Thatcher remains one of Britain's most divisive political figures.

Beloved by many on the political right for what became known as "Thatcherism," a unwavering belief in economic freedom and personal responsibility, she was equally hated by others for her harsh spending cuts and ruthless shutting down of Britain's coal mines.

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