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Guy’s and St Thomas's hospital vow to remove controversial statues after UK protests

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The move follows a series of protests up and down the country against systemic racism and police brutality sparked by the death of George Floyd.

Mr Floyd died following a fatal interaction with a Minneapolis officer on May 25.

The NHS foundation trust, which runs the hospitals said the monuments of Thomas Guy and Sir Robert Clayton will be moved so they are no longer in public view.

Thomas Guy, the founder of Guy’s hospital, had invested in the South Sea Company who were involved in the slave trade.

Whilst, Sir Robert Clayton, the president of St Thomas’s hospital in the 17th century, had connections with the Royal African Company.

The Company was responsible for shipping slaves across the Atlantic.

Speaking in a statement, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust, alongside King’s College London explained they have been working actively to address the legacy of racism.

They said: “Like many organisations in Britain, we know that we have a duty to address the legacy of colonialism, racism and slavery in our work.

“We absolutely recognise the public hurt and anger that is generated by the symbolism of public statues of historical figures associated with the slave trade in some way.

“We have therefore decided to remove statues of Robert Clayton and Thomas Guy from public view, and we look forward to engaging with and receiving guidance from the Mayor of London’s Commission on each.”

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Some radical protesters have gone to the extreme to spread their message.

One group set a statue on fire, whilst another in Bristol toppled a monument celebrating Edward Colston into the harbour on Sunday.

Efforts have now turned to put pressure on authorities to mirror the events in the United States following the death of African American man George Floyd.

Belgium authorities took down the statue of King Leopold II to be restored after protesters had vandalised the monument with paint.

The statue has been transported to a museum where it will undergo work to reform the statue back to its former self.

It is believed police are investigating the damage on a monument to Christopher Columbus in Galway.

The statue which has been smeared in paint was a present from the city of Genoa.

Left wing group People Before Profit have demanded authorities oust the sculpture due to its links with the slave trade.

People Before Profit said: “It would be more appropriate for a memorial that acknowledges Galway’s role in the slave trade that followed Columbus’ voyage to the Americas.”
They also aim to erase a plaque in nearby Tuam to Major Richard Dowling.

Major Dowling served as a Confederate artillery officer amidst the American Civil War.



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