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Mayor backs new plan to build MLK memorial in Boston

Boston, MA - 4/22/1965: The wife of Rev. Virgil Woods presents an artificial flower to Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 22, 1965, as her son, Bobby Woods, looks on. Dr. King led a march through the city to protest segregated housing conditions and racially imbalanced schools, and spoke at Boston Common and the State House during his visit. (Paul Connell/Globe Staff) --- BGPA Reference: 160126_MJ_028
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. greeted supporters in April 1965 during a march to Boston Common. A memorial to the civil rights icon, who attended Boston University, could be placed on the Common or elsewhere in the city. –Paul Connell / The Boston Globe

Mayor Martin J. Walsh plans to throw his support behind a campaign by a well-known Boston tech entrepreneur to commission a monument to Martin Luther King Jr. that would be placed on Boston Common or another prominent location.

The Walsh administration plans to help with a public contest among artists who would design a statue or memorial honoring King, who earned his doctorate in the city in the 1950s. Under the emerging plan, entrepreneur Paul English will work with members of the community to identify a design and a site that honors “this towering figure of history,’’ according to the mayor’s prepared remarks in a speech scheduled before the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Wednesday morning.

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English said he has long felt King deserved a public monument in Boston. He recalled visiting San Francisco earlier in September and viewing the King memorial in the Yerba Buena Gardens, and concluding Boston should have a similar memorial.