From the London Telegraph:
Statues of ‘old white men’ may need to be destroyed, Welsh government advises
Sat, March 11, 2023 at 12:00 PM PST·3 min read
Admiral Nelson, Sir Thomas Picton, the Duke of Wellington and Henry Morton Stanley all have statues in Wales
Picton, the highest ranking British officer to die at Waterloo, and Stanley, the African explorer who the first to cross Africa from east to west, were Welshmen. Nelson and Wellington, the sea and land commanders who won the Napoleonic Wars, were not.
Statues of “old white men” such as the Duke of Wellington and Admiral Lord Nelson could be hidden or destroyed to create the “right historical narrative”, according to Welsh government guidance.
Historical statues that often glorify “powerful, older, able-bodied white men” may be “offensive” to a more diverse modern public, according to guidance which is expected to be finalised this month.
Re: “able-bodied”: various commenters have reminded me that Admiral Nelson died winning the Battle of Trafalgar while missing an eye and an arm that he had lost in various battles in the service of his country.
… Diversity is “hardly visible at all in public commemorations”, it says, with existing memorials giving the “perception that the achievements that society considers noteworthy are those of powerful, older, able-bodied white men”.
To “dispel” this narrative, and end the “perpetuation of racist colonial myths about white superiority”, potentially offensive older monuments can be “re-evaluated” with the help of public and expert consultation.
However, officials note that the “relative preponderance of white historians over other identities can skew understanding”. …
The advice follows a 2021 government-backed “audit of commemoration” in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests, which covered hundreds of statues, plaques, buildings and street names linked to “the slave trade and British Empire”.
It named Welsh explorer Henry Morton Stanley as among figures honoured with a statue who committed “crimes against black people”, while the Duke of Wellington and Admiral Lord Nelson were among the memorialised deemed to have “opposed abolition”.
The audit’s subsequent “Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan” outlined public bodies’ responsibility for “setting the right historical narrative” and aimed to recognise “historical injustices” while also pointing out the “positive impact” of minority communities.
The 2011 census showed Wales to be less ethnically diverse than any region of ‘England and Wales’: 93.2 per cent classed themselves as White British (including Welsh, English, Scottish or Northern Irish), 2.4 per cent as “Other White” (including Irish), 2.2 per cent as Asian (including Asian British), 1 per cent as Mixed, and 0.6 per cent as Black (African, Caribbean, or Black British).
They can put up a statue of Shirley Bassey singing James Bond theme songs, but then what?