Barbados will soon remove the statue of Lord Nelson, one of its most iconic landmarks. This is the first significant process as Barbados moves to become a republic in a year’s time. Horatio Nelson was the most famous admiral of the Napoleonic Wars, celebrated ever since as the greatest sea warrior in British history.
John King, junior culture minister, said it will be removed from National Heroes' Square, Bridgetown on Nov. 16, which is International Day of Tolerance. King, whose office is leading the project, described the decision as “a step towards the healing of the nation and to remind us all that tolerance is a universal human right”.
“The Government of Barbados has announced its intentions to officially become an independent republic on 30 Nov. 2021, which is our 55th anniversary of Independence,” King added. “This is indeed an ultimate statement of confidence in who we are as a people and what we are capable of achieving.
“As we amend the constitution to have a Barbadian head of state, and as a symbol of the maturity of our democracy, it is imperative that we re-examine notable elements of our colonial past. Cabinet's decision to remove the statue is part of this process as we seek to promote national identity as part of a modern Barbados.”
He added that the statue, that is more than 200 years old, will be placed in temporary storage before being returned to public display on the compound of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society at The Garrison, St Michael.
The removal of the statue will pave the way for the redevelopment of National Heroes' Square as part of the overall renewal of Historic Bridgetown, which forms part of the country's UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site.