“Alfred Woolner was the vice chancellor of the Punjab University from 1928 to 1936. His is the only statue left of many that were positioned in front of prominent buildings during the British Raj in a wave of imperialistic civic zeal. Now, with the title of ‘colony’ no longer hanging over our heads, we are in a better position to appreciate the aesthetic value and historical importance of these effigies. That is if it’s not too late.
The statues were a significant part of my youth,” said Sajjid Abbas, a septuagenarian Lahori who knows the city like the back of his hand. “I would often walk down The Mall and take photographs of these beautiful sculptures because I knew that they would disappear one day.” There were a total of ten such statues, each narrating the grandeur and the might of British rule, said Mr Abbas, taking a walk down memory lane and relating the history of each of the sculptures. The first on Mr Abbas’s list of these “emblems of British authority” is the bronze statue of Queen Victoria that was placed in the pavilion of the assembly chambers.