Toppling of English queens statues in Canada brings into question what purpose do such monuments serve?
Pictures of indigenous people in Canada toppling statues of English queens Victoria and Elizabeth has brought into question what purpose do statues serve?
Three days ago, a prominent statue of Queen Victoria was torn down by protesters in Canada as anger grows over the recent discoveries of unmarked graves of indigenous children at residential schools. Protesters cheered as the statue at the legislature in Manitoba’s capital Winnipeg was toppled on Thursday.
A smaller statue of Queen Elizabeth II was also upended nearby. The toppling of the statues came on Canada Day, an annual celebration on July 1 that marks the country’s founding by British colonies in 1867.
Referring to the Canadian revolt, Bernard Moffatt, of the Celtic League, wrote on Facebook: “The British Empire had a mission to destroy indigenous culture and community wherever it went and indeed was via the education system responsible for the destruction of the Manx Language.
“A process which Manx governments in the last three decades have started to reverse.”
During the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin, the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol was unceremoniously felled and thrown into the harbour in June last year.
And the statue of “sadistic” 19th-century slave owner Thomas Picton found guilty of torturing a 14-year-old girl is to be removed from a ‘Heroes of Wales’ gallery at Cardiff City Hall.
A Welsh Government report identified 209 monuments, buildings or street names commemorating people who were directly involved with slavery and the slave trade, or opposed its abolition.
While there are dozens of statues and monuments to Queen Victoria world-wide, there are only two in Wales.
There is a statue with a fountain and canopy of Queen Victoria in Happy Valley, Great Orme, Llandudno, Conwy.
It has a bronze bust of her on a pedestal with the inscription: “This Fountain was erected in the Happy Valley to/commemorate the Jubilee of the Reign of Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria and Empress of India by The Right Honourable Lady Augusta Mostyn Upon land presented to the Town of Llandudno by her son, the Right Honourable Llewellyn 3rd Baron Mostyn”.
The other is a sculpture by Henry Price in bronze and stone in Bellevue Park, Wrexham.
There are no statues for Elizabeth 11 in Wales, although she has a couple in England and others in Canada and Burma.