Belgium’s King Leopold II Statue Brought Down Following Black Lives Matter Protests

A statue of the late King Leopold II was on Tuesday brought down in the Belgian port city of Antwerp.

This was following #BlackLivesMatter protests in the country that were awakened by the death of an African-American man George Floyd in the hands of the police.

The statue was removed after protesters doused it with paint.

According to spokesman for Antwerp’s mayor Bart de Wever, Johan Vermant, the statue of the 19th century ruler was taken for repairs.

“The statue was seriously vandalised last week and needs to be restored by the Middelheim sculpture museum,” Mr Vermant said.

“Because of the renovation work planned for 2023 in the square in which it was placed, the statue will not be replaced. It will probably become part of the museum collection.”

King Leopold II was the longest reigning King of the Belgians from 1865 to 1909.

He is honoured with several monuments that activists have for the longest time sought to have removed due to his brutal rule of the Belgium’s former central African colonies.

Leopold II exploited the then “Congo Free State” now the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) without ever setting foot in the war-torn African country.

History books show that at least 10 milion Congolese were killed or maimed working in rubber plantations and in military expeditions.

During this 23 year period, Leopold amassed a huge personal fortune.

More than 64,000 people have signed a petition demanding that statues erected in Belgium’s capital Brussels be taken down.

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Written by Eva Nyambura

Content creator at | Passionate about telling the untold story. Lover of life, music and technology. Simplicity is KEY


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