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Controversial statues should be placed in a "museum of colonialism," as leading historians claim


Controversial statues should be placed in a "museum of colonialism," as leading historians claim

  • William Dalrymple, a "museum of colonialism" would highlight "war criminals".
  • Would include the controversial Commander in Chief of India Sir Colin Campbell
  • Monitored the gruesome punishment of rebels – including firing from a cannon

Britain should have a "museum of colonialism" so that it can learn about its controversial colonial history, argued leading historian William Dalrymple

Britain should have a "museum of colonialism" so that it can learn about its controversial history, argued a leading historian.

William Dalrymple – an expert on Britain's colonial interests in India – said a museum would highlight "war criminals" such as the Indian Commander in Chief Sir Colin Campbell.

The field marshal with a statue in Clydeside, Glasgow oversaw the cruel punishment of rebel soldiers – including firing from a cannon after forcing them to lick blood.

Another such figure was the general of the East India Company, John Nicholson, who has a statue in Dungannon, Northern Ireland.

He admitted "lightly" inflicting "the most excruciating torture" on Indians captured during a mutiny in 1857, The Times reports.

He also reportedly ordered a servant to be beaten to death for not groaning enough.

Mr Dalrymple - an expert on Britain's colonial interests in India - said a museum would

Another such figure was the general of the East India Company, John Nicholson, who has a statue in Dungannon, Northern Ireland (pictured)

Mr Dalrymple – an expert on Britain's colonial interests in India – said a museum would highlight "war criminals" such as the Commander in Chief of India Sir Colin Campbell (a statue in Glasgow, left). Another such figure was General John Nicholson (right) of the East India Company who has a statue in Dungannon, Northern Ireland

In the closing debate of the Jaipur Literature Festival London, entitled "The Age of Iconoclasm", Dalrymple said that the stature of all colonial figures does not need to be demolished, only those who have committed "war crimes".

He said, “Right now, children in Henry VIII's schools are going to Wilberforce and the impression they get is that the British Empire has always been about the liberation of slaves and always about anti-racism and things that the British are in India and all about Have done elsewhere, just not being taught in the curriculum and that's a problem. & # 39;

“When the British go out into the world they don't know what the Indians know about the Raj or what the Irish know about the famine, they don't know what the Australians know about the mass extinction of the Tasmanian Aborigines, so we need this teaching in our schools, and the opportunity to set up a museum of colonialism with some of these war criminals and other statues seems to me to be an opportunity that we must seize. & # 39;

It comes amid mounting tensions over Britain's colonial past sparked by the global outcry following the death of the unarmed black man George Floyd.

In June, protesters in Bristol tore down a statue of the slave trader Edward Colston (pictured)

Protesters in Bristol in June tore down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston (pictured)

That same month, the governors of Oriel College in Oxford voted to remove the statue of the imperialist and mining tycoon Cecil Rhodes (pictured).

That same month, the governors of Oriel College, Oxford voted to remove the statue of the imperialist and mining tycoon Cecil Rhodes (pictured).

Floyd was killed when white cop Derek Chauvin cuffed his knee for eight minutes and 46 seconds, despite his desperate pleadings that he could not breathe. He passed out and later died on May 25 in Minneapolis.

His death is seen as a symbol of systemic police brutality against African Americans, which sparked outrage and largely peaceful protests in the United States first before quickly spreading worldwide.

In June, protesters in Bristol tore down a statue of the slave trader Edward Colston.

That same month, the governors of Oriel College, Oxford voted to remove the statue of the imperialist and mining tycoon Cecil Rhodes.

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