“The slave trade is a stain on our history, placing those who benefited from it on a pedestal is not up to modern, multi-ethnic cities.”, Explained Caroline Audi, who co-chairs the city’s executive committee against racism. The committee recommended the removal of the statues, which were approved by a referendum on Thursday. The City of London plans to replace them with other works of art and commission a new monument to the slave trade.
The statues were erected by William Beckford (1709-1770), the former Lord Mayor of London, who built his fortunes on plantations in Jamaica and was owned by African slaves, and merchant, MP. And the patron John Goss (1661-1718), an official of the Royal African Company, especially active in the slave trade.
The move comes just days after the British government announced new rules for granting permission and local advice before removing a statue or monument. “In exceptional circumstances”.
“We should not try to rewrite or censor our past.”, Justified by Robert Genrich, Minister for Communities. “Raised for generations (…) cannot be removed at will”.
The UK has questioned its colonial past and its identity in the wake of the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black American killed by a white police officer who revived the movement last year. Black Lives Matter.
In June, protesters erected a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol (southwest England). Before Westminster, a monument to Winston Churchill was marked with the inscription “Racism”.
This article was published in AFP on January 22, 2021. Posted by.