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Published: Thursday, 11th June 2020

A review of statues, monuments, historic figures and names of public spaces throughout Royal Greenwich is underway at the Council to ensure they remain relevant and best reflect the borough today.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich will identify commemorative structures with links to the slave trade and will work with residents and partners to develop a way forward. 

The Council welcomes the Mayor of London’s Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm, which will focus on increasing representation among London’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, women, the LGBTQ+ community and disability groups.

Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: “Royal Greenwich proudly stands against racism. Our borough’s diversity is one of our greatest strengths and we want to make sure this is reflected in our public realm. 

“The recent Black Lives Matter protests have prompted many of us to consider the relevance of statues and landmarks that commemorate and celebrate those who made their fortune from exploitation. 

“It is an uncomfortable truth that our borough, with its rich Maritime history, has ties to the slave trade. We will be reviewing the whole of our public realm to identify these links and develop a way forward.  

“Our history is important, and we are not looking to rewrite or forget the past. But we do have a responsibility to question and discuss the place of commemorative structures from bygone eras in our borough’s future.”