The controversial Lord Nelson statue, which is based in Heroes Square, was sprayed with yellow paint and other graffiti.

NOT RIGHT!

Minister Lashley condemns act of defacing Lord Nelson statue

THE person responsible for spraying the controversial statue of British admiral Lord Horatio Nelson with yellow paint and other graffiti should be punished for defacing public property.

As Police investigate the circumstances surrounding the defaced statue which is based in Heroes Square, Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley is saying that the statue is public property and it should not have been touched.

Though he had not yet seen the defaced statue at the time, Minister Lashley issued a media statement yesterday afternoon. He condemned the act of defacing any public monument in Barbados, including the statue of Lord Nelson.

Acknowledging that for many years there has been a public debate regarding the removal of the statue, which was erected in 1813, from where it currently stands, Lashley said he is of the view that the country must someday come together to resolve the issue.

However, the Minister equally believes that anyone who defaces or causes any damage to public monuments should feel the full brunt of the law.

“I equally believe that anyone who takes it on themselves to deface or to do any damage to public monuments should equally be dealt firmly in accordance with the law,” Minister Lashley said.

Yesterday morning, those who made their way into The City were surprised to see the statue spray-painted. In fact, not only were pictures of the alterations to the statue making rounds on various social media platforms, but people were also engaging in conversations regarding the removal of the statue on various mediums.

A message headlined “Nelson Will Fall” was also left in front of the statue.

“This racist, white supremist, who would rather die than see black people free, stands proudly in our nation’s capital. Nelson must go!! Fear not Barbados. The people have spoken. Politicians have failed us! Happy Independence,” the message written on a blue placard read.

For several years, prominent historians and other interested Barbadians have called for the statue to be removed from the centre of the island, explaining that it is a reminder of African enslavement. (AH)

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