4

Following the toppling of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol on June 7th, the renewed support for the "Rhodes must fall" campaign, targeting predominantly the statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College, Oxford, and the vandalism of Winston Churchill's statue during the George Floyd/Black Lives Matter protests in the UK, the Mayor of London has set up a commission to "review the capital's landmarks to ensure they reflect its diversity".

The Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm will focus on increasing representation among Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, women, the LGBTQ+ community and disability groups.

[...]

The Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm will review the landmarks that currently makes up London’s public realm, further the discussion into what legacies should be celebrated, and make a series of recommendations aimed at establishing best practice and standards.

It will be wide in scope and consider murals, street art, street names, statues and other memorials.

[...]

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Our capital’s diversity is our greatest strength, yet our statues, road names and public spaces reflect a bygone era. It is an uncomfortable truth that our nation and city owes a large part of its wealth to its role in the slave trade and while this is reflected in our public realm, the contribution of many of our communities to life in our capital has been wilfully ignored.

“This cannot continue. We must ensure that we celebrate the achievements and diversity of all in our city, and that we commemorate those who have made London what it is – that includes questioning which legacies are being celebrated.

“The Black Lives Matter protests have rightly brought this to the public’s attention, but it’s important that we take the right steps to work together to bring change and ensure that we can all be proud of our public landscape.”

It seems that this Commission will make recommendations not only on how the diversity of the city can be reflected by expanding its architecture and landmarks but also on whether certain landmarks currently on show should remain - according to the BBC:

Mr Khan told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he did not have ownership of the statues and the land they are on.

He also said it would be "inappropriate" to single out which statues and street names he thinks should go.

Has this process or a similar review been undertaken previously in any other countries or cities? I'm more interested in reviews undertaken by national or local government rather than petitions or vandalism.

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .