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After George Floyd, a war of statues

The tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis is making history.

Never before police violence in the US (sadly frequent against black American citizens) had been followed by such a global movement of anti-racism protest. With black and white youths taking the lead of demonstrations, from the US to Europe and from Asia to Africa. 

It is not a surprise, then, that statues were involved. The Winston Churchill at Westminster was the first to be accused of “racism” , but the offense was quickly deleted and the statue is now under surveillance.

Then came Christopher Columbus (or perhaps we should call him Cristoforo Colombo) , whose statue in Richmond, Virginia was draped in a burning flag and dumped in a lake.

Columbus in recent years had been repeatedly accused of cruelty with local populations after his voyages across the Atlantic opened the way for European colonisation of the Americas.

But let’s go back to Britain. The statue of Edward Colston, a notorious slave trader, was pulled down in Bristol and thrown into the harbour.

The Bristol City Council, surprisingly, wants now to exhibit it in a museum. And a Brussels councillor, the day before yesterday, has demanded a national debate on what to do with the statues of King Leopold II , the brutal Belgian coloniser of what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

If this tendency develops, we might be left with very few statues.

Ph: Jacek Wojnarowski / Shutterstock.com

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