16 Jun 2020

Timeline: Statues felled and vandalised following Black Lives Matter protests

The death of George Floyd has sparked protests across the world – as well as calls for certain statues to be taken down, with some demonstrators doing it themselves – or vandalising them.

In the United States, the focus has been on monuments built to remember those who fought for the slave-supporting Confederacy during the Civil War. There have also been protests around the explorer Christopher Columbus, accused of crimes against indigenous people in the Americas.

In the UK, a statue of Edward Colston was torn down and thrown in the harbour. A statue of another merchant and slaver, Robert Milligan, was taken down by authorities in London, while statues of historical figures like Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi were boarded up to protect them from protesters.

In Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, people are debating – and defacing – statues as they discuss their history.