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Current media coverage, active campaigns, public involvement and creative interventions, in the debate that has been running since at least 1952.


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History's Bad Boys.

June 11, 2020


The statue of historical figure Robert Milligan on West India Quay in East London has been removed on public safety grounds. It is feared it will be targetted by protestors because of his connection to the slave trade.  

The statue of the scouting leader, Robert Baden-Powell, in Bournemouth has been associated with facism and a sympathy with Hitler. It is reported to be on a target list for attack and the local authorities planned to move it to safe storage, but several people surrounded it saying it should remain.

  (Dylan Garner/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

In Richmond, USA the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was splattered with paint after it was toppled Wednesday night, And in Antrwerp, Belgium a statue of King Leopold ll, who oversaw an unimaginably brutal regime in Congo that led to the death of millions was taken down for 'public safety' this week.


A group of Native American women pulled down the Christopher Columbus statue in front of the Minnesota State Capitol and then danced around it while singing the song of the American Indian Movement. They said "This is to honor our ancestors and the women who started to go missing since Columbus landed."


These men, despite their connections with wicked and inhuman practices, have been set up as figures to be admired by a patriarchy that has profited from thier actions. It takes a lot for them to be removed. But awareness of the quiet persistent power of the civic statue is  dawning on the wider consciousness. This awakening realisation of their significance - thier influence - is a chance to redefine how civic statues are chosen. This is a chance for the nation to reconsider who it wants to honour. This time of pandemic has given us a chance to understand who and what it is we really value. There are lots of truly worthy women on the Waiting List.