Since being unveiled more than 20 years ago, the statue outside the Royal Marines Museum, known as The Yomper, has become a well-known and loved city landmark.
It was created to mark the 10th anniversary of the Falklands War, and specifically to commemorate the Royal Marines who fought in that conflict. It was unveiled by Baroness Thatcher, the former prime minister whose reputation became intertwined with the war.
Where it stands at the moment, on Eastney Esplanade, looking out across the Solent, it is in a prominent and (importantly for those who want to keep it there) a free to see position.
At the moment though, there are plans to move the statue into the Historic Dockyard when the Royal Marines Museum relocates in 2019.
So far more than 3,000 people have signed a petition calling for the statue to remain where it is.
Today we publish pictures of artist’s impressions of how the statue could look in its new location, which will be sure to fire up the debate. But John Rawlinson, director general at the museum, has stressed that the consultation on The Yomper is still in its early stages.
We here at The News are great admirers of The Yomper and everything it stands for.
One only has to see the number of readers’ photographs we receive of it to appreciate the place it occupies in the public’s affections.
Moving it indoors and only accessible to those who pay to enter the museum would be sad.
And with the amount of support already received to keep it where it is, it is hard to see what justification there is for the move. The Yomper may be related to, but is not part of, the museum.