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London university considers removing Sir Francis Drake and Lord Nelson statues due to slavery links

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Goldsmiths, University of London has launched a public consultation outside Deptford Town Hall over whether it should take down four statues with links to colonialism.

Student group, Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action have demanded the statues be removed including those of Sir Francis Drake and Lord Nelson.

Deptford Town Hall, which faces onto New Cross Road, was first opened in 1905 before it was acquired by Goldsmiths in 1998.

It comes a year after the statue of slave trader Edward Colston was pulled down in Bristol during a Black Lives Matter protest.

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Since then statues with possible links to the slave trade have been placed under the microscope.

One of the men depicted, Sir Francis Drake, was best known for circumnavigating the globe but was an early slave trader.

Lord Nelson, one of Britain’s most famous commanders strongly opposed the abolition of the slave trade.

Goldsmiths has sent the consultation out to approximately 8,500 homes in the New Cross area and is open until October 17.

Respondents will be asked if they would like the statues retained, removed, or for historical context to be added.

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Professor Frances Corner, Warden of Goldsmiths told The Telegraph: “Deptford Town Hall is a local landmark so it is only right that we ask local people what they think about the statues which embody the complex legacy of the area’s maritime heritage.

“We want those living in the area to engage openly and honestly with troubling aspects of the history these statues represent and tell us how they want these issues to be addressed.

“These statues were carved in 1905 to reflect the wishes of the local community then and it is vital that, a little over a century later, any decision on their future reflects the wishes of our local community now.”

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/london-university-considers-removing-sir-21476066