Barbados to remove Lord Nelson statue from National Heroes' square

Barbados to remove Lord Nelson statue from National Heroes' square

Monday, October 26, 2020

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — The minister with responsibility for culture in the Office of the Prime Minister, John King, says the statue of Lord Nelson will be removed from its location in National Heroes' Square on November 16, which is observed as International Day of Tolerance.

King, whose office is leading the project, described the decision as “a step towards the healing of the nation and to remind us all that tolerance is a universal human right”.

“The Government of Barbados has announced its intentions to officially become an independent republic on November 30, 2021, which is our 55th anniversary of Independence,” Minister King added. “This is indeed an ultimate statement of confidence in who we are as a people and what we are capable of achieving.

“As we amend the constitution to have a Barbadian head of state, and as a symbol of the maturity of our democracy, it is imperative that we re-examine notable elements of our colonial past. Cabinet's decision to remove the statue is part of this process as we seek to promote national identity as part of a modern Barbados.”

He added that the statue, that is more than 200 years old, is to be transported to a temporary storage site under the guidance of experts, before being returned to public display on the compound of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society at The Garrison, St Michael.

The removal of the statue will pave the way for the redevelopment of National Heroes' Square as part of the overall renewal of Historic Bridgetown, which forms part of the country's UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site.

The removal of the statue is the culmination of decades of discussion and planning, dating back to the Committee on National Reconciliation.

The bronze statue of the British naval hero was unveiled on March 22, 1813 to commemorate the anniversary of the British Royal Navy's victory in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

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