Authorities In Antwerp Remove Statue Of Coloniser King Leopold II
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A video shared online by a journalist shows the statue being hoisted away by a crane - the top half of the statue looks charred and has red paint showing through.
Johan Vermant, a spokesperson for Antwerp's mayor Bart de Wever, told the Brussels Times: "The statue was seriously vandalised last week and needs to be restored by the Middelheim sculpture museum."
But he went on to say that the statue won't be returned to the public square once any repair work is done - adding: "Since the square where the statue stood will be redesigned in 2023, and there will be no room for it afterwards, it will probably remain part of the museum's collection."
A spokesperson for the Middelheim Museum has confirmed they received the statue and said they would restore it before deciding what to do with it.
A second statue of Leopold II, in Ghent, has also been the target of protesters, with the words: "I can't breathe" - the final words of the final words of George Floyd - written across it.
Leopold II - who reigned from 1865 to 1909 - is notorious for how he ran and exploited the then Congo Free State - now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo.
His brutal colonial regime in the Congo pushed people into forced labour and was responsible for millions of deaths, with historians putting the number of Congelese deaths during his regime at around 10 million.
A petition to remove all statues of the former king from the country has picked up more than 60,000 signatures.
Over in the UK, protesters at the Black Lives Matter gathering in Bristol toppled a statue of 17th Century slave trader Edward Colston.
The protesters attached ropes to the statue and pulled it from its plinth to cheers from the crowd. Once pulled down some of protesters knelt on the neck of the statue, mimicking Derek Chauvin, the police officer charged with second degree murder and manslaughter following Floyd's death.
After pulling it down, protesters rolled it towards the harbour and pushed it into the water.