London's statues to better reflect diversity, says mayor

  • World
  • Wednesday, 29 Jul 2020

LONDON, July 28 (Xinhua) -- London mayor Sadiq Khan announced Tuesday the setting up of a new commission to help ensure statues across the British capital better reflect achievements of people from diverse backgrounds.

It means there will be more statues and plaques honoring black, Asian and minority ethnic communities as well as women, the LGBTQ+ community and disabled people.

Khan said current statues, plaques and street names in London largely reflect Victorian Britain.

The move follows protests across Britain in the wake of the Black Lives Matter campaign which saw the statue of a slave trader from Bristol being torn from its pedestal.

"For too long our public spaces have neglected the achievements of many in our city. The range of people immortalised in our statues, memorials and buildings have left a restricted view of the past that fails to show our capital's great diversity," Khan said.

"It's time for this to change. We must work together to tell the full story of our history," he added.

Arike Oke, managing director of Black Cultural Archives said: "We hope to see London's contemporary environment finally reflect its rich layers of African and Asian heritage. London is a city whose people and history have influenced and been influenced by our global inheritance."

Emily Gee, Historic England's regional director for London and the South East, said: "Our capital's public places should make us feel welcome, encourage us to think, and help us appreciate the historic and modern city around us. Representation is a very important part of this."

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