The world monuments of historical figures had to suffer. Statues of explorer Christopher Columbus were vandalized in the United States. In England, scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell and former Prime Minister Winston Churchill had to undergo the same.
In Bristol, protesters on Sunday pulled the bronze statue of local ‘hero’ Edward Colston (1636-1721) from its pedestal and threw it into the water by the harbor.
Colston was a seventeenth-century businessman, Member of Parliament, and philanthropist who earned much of his wealth from the slave trade. Before his statue cup went down, a demonstrator put his knee on the metal neck for a moment.
Also, in England, the local authorities of the southwestern coastal town of Poole have decided to take away a statue of scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941). According to critics, he held racist views and would also have admired Adolf Hitler. Meanwhile, it was decided to protect the statue for 24 hours pending removal.
In Leeds, a statue of the British Queen Victoria (1819-1901) was painted with ‘racist’ and ‘slave owner’. During its reign, the British Empire grew into a world power, with several colonies.
In London, last Sunday, Churchill (1874-1965) ‘was a racist’ was written on a statue of the British former prime minister during a Black Lives Matter protest. He may be known as the man who defeated the Nazis, but he considered the white race to be superior. For that reason, he also did not believe that the indigenous people in Africa, Asia, America, or Australia had been wronged.
In the United States, several statues of explorer Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) suffered. His statue was beheaded in Boston, Massachusetts, a statue ended up in a lake in Richmond, Virginia, and a statue of the explorer was defaced in Miami, Florida.
The statues of Southern General Williams Carter Wickham (1820-1888) and Confederal President Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) were also pulled from their bases in Richmond.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the city government removed the statue of former Mayor Frank Rizzo (1920-1991) after protesters defaced the statue and attempted to topple it. Rizzo, who was a police commissioner in addition to being mayor, is accused of encouraging police brutality in the 1960s and 70s.
In addition, Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, wants to have all eleven statues of leaders and soldiers of the Confederacy (the southern states who seceded because they opposed the abolition of slavery) from the Capitol.
At the beginning of this week, social media called for damage to the statues of Piet Hein (1577-1629) and Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (1547-1619) in Rotterdam.
Hein has been up for discussion for several years because the much-sung sea hero was active in the era when the slave trade also took place. Van Oldenbarnevelt was one of the most powerful politicians of the 16th and 17th centuries.
In Belgium, the bust of King Leopold II (1835-1909) disappears from the university library of KU Leuven. Fifty organizations and individuals, including professors, had asked for the removal in an open letter to the rector. Leuven University thus follows the example of Bergen University.
A statue of Leopold II was removed there on Tuesday and ended up in the university collection.
The statue of Leopold II, which was vandalized several times in recent weeks, has also been removed in Ekeren. In addition, images of Leopold II were defaced in Ostend, Ghent, Tervuren, and Brussels.
In Richmond, Virginia, a statue of Columbus was dragged from its pedestal and thrown into a nearby pond.