‘Don’t remove slave owner, retain and explain him’

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‘Don’t remove slave owner, retain and explain him’

A report suggests a statue of William Beckford remain in London’s Guildhall, despite earlier agreement to remove it

Huw Jones

A statue of 18th-century slave owner and lord mayor William Beckford should remain in the City of London’s Guildhall headquarters, a report has recommended, six months after a committee agreed to remove it. The statue should be accompanied by a plaque explaining Beckford’s links to the slave trade, said the report, published on the city’s website on Thursday.

London looked at its historic links to slavery after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year and Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests.

Elected representatives of the City of London municipal authority for the “Square Mile” financial district agreed in January to remove statues of Beckford, who had plantations with African slaves in Jamaica, and of former businessman John Cass, who was also involved in the slave trade...

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