Before Edward Colston took a dip in Bristol harbour the prospect of problematic statues being removed in Britain was a mere glint in Afua Hirsch’s eye. Horatio Nelson, the one-armed, fornicating hero of Trafalgar, was her preferred target for his defence of slavery, but any old white man would probably have sufficed.
That at least seems to be the conclusion of other would-be iconoclasts, who are now compiling a map to “topple the racists”. Nelson features on it several times, naturally, along with Clive of India, Captain Cook, and Robert Peel. As well as removing statues the activists want to rename street names and buildings, including such oddities as the Horniman Museum round my way.Continue reading →