Bust of British Museum founder to be removed over his links to slavery

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bust removed
CREDIT: British Museum Facebook

A bust of the founder of the British Museum is to be removed over Sir Hans Sloane’s links to slavery.

THE effigy, along with other items in Sloane’s collection, will now be kept in a secure cabinet with other artefacts which detail his legacy in the ‘exploitative context of the British Empire,’ according to curators.

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Hartwig Fischer, the institution’s director, told the Daily Telegraph, the museum wanted to confront its links to colonialism.

He said: “We have pushed him off the pedestal. We must not hide anything. Healing is knowledge.”


The move has been made partly as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement, which followed the death of George Floyd in America on May 25, the museum’s curators revealed.

Sloane bequeathed his collection to the nation in 1753, on the condition a new, freely accessible public museum was created to house it.


His collection of books, natural history specimens and objects became the foundation of the Museum.

However, Sloane’s and his collection have close links to slavery – he and his family profited from sugar plantations in Jamaica.

These were worked by enslaved people, and some of the objects he collected were gathered with help from both English planters and enslaved people.

Back in July, the controversial statue of Edward Colston was pulled down and thrown in a harbour, only to be replaced overnight by a statue of a Black Lives Matter protestor

The statue depicting BLM protestor Jen Reid, with her hand clenched and arm raised in a ‘Black Panther’ salute suddenly appeared in the spot where the Colston statue had stood for over a 100 years before being unceremoniously pulled down by protestors and dragged over a third of a mile before being thrown in the harbour.




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