Barbados removes statue of Lord Nelson from its capital

Barbados has taken down a statue of Admiral Nelson in its latest symbolic break with its colonial past, two months after announcing it would sever its links with the British monarchy and become a republic.  

The bronze statue of Nelson was unveiled in 1813, eight years after his victory in the Battle of Trafalgar and 30 years before Nelson's Column was completed in London. 

But it has long been seen as an unwelcome vestige of British rule, not least because of Nelson's defence of the slave trade on which the plantation economy was based. 

Months after the George Floyd protests sparked a reassessment of racism and history around the world, the statue has finally gone from Bridgetown's National Heroes Square after a ceremony on Monday night, and will go to a museum. 

Removed: Barbados's statue of Horatio Nelson, long seen as an unwelcome vestige of colonial rule in the Caribbean, has been taken down following this year's worldwide race protests 

'Tek Me Down': This message was spray-tnted on the plinth of Bridgetown's Nelson statue earlier this year. Months later, the wish has been granted

'Tek Me Down': This message was spray-painted on the plinth of Bridgetown's Nelson statue earlier this year. Months later, that person's wish has been granted as the statue was removed

At the ceremony, Barbadian prime minister Mia Mottley said the government accepted the statue was an 'important, historic relic'.

But she added: 'It is not a relic to be placed in the National Heroes Square of a nation that has had to fight for too long to shape its destiny and to forge a positive future for its citizens.'

Barbados was claimed for England in 1625 and became independent after more than three centuries of colonial rule in 1966. 

Its present day population of about 287,000 people are mainly the descendants of African slaves brought over by force to work the plantations.

Moves are now underway for Barbados to ditch the Queen as its head of state and to become a republic before the 55th anniversary of its independence next year.

Several administrations have had their eye on removing the Nelson statue since 1990, and the square where it stood was renamed

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