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Author Topic: Leopold II  (Read 11278 times)
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« Reply #45 on: July 15, 2021, 01:36:35 AM »

Archduchess Marie Henriette of Austria attended the wedding of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863.

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« Reply #46 on: July 20, 2021, 02:50:20 PM »

Bust of controversial King Leopold II disappeared in Ostend

A bust of the controversial Belgian King Leopold II has disappeared from a park in Ostend. An activist group calling attention to the cruel colonial practices of the king has claimed the theft. Leopold II ruled his private colony Congo with a heavy hand from 1885. The black population was exploited for decades and millions of people were killed.

Members of De Stoete Oostendenoare have been protesting for years against memorials to the king in the city. For example, the bust has been smeared with red paint several times, 'mass murderer' has been added to a street sign and a Congolese secondary figure hand has been sawn off at an equestrian statue of the monarch, a reference to the punishment that Congolese regularly received.

The Stoete Oostendenoare had already announced tougher actions during the most recent graffiti in March. "We last edited the bust. If it doesn't get deleted, the next step is to delete it ourselves." The act was taken up on Friday.

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Mayor Tommelein of Ostend is angry about the action. "Either you choose a program that explains in a serene way what happened in history, or you choose vandalism. The latter has its consequences."

If De Stoete Oostendenoare does not hold back, Tommelein wants to call off discussions about how the city will deal with the colonial past in the future. He also filed a report with the police.

Throughout Belgium, images of the controversial monarch are regularly daubed or damaged. A year ago, a bust in Ghent disappeared to a museum depot because the reputation of the monarch was considered too controversial.
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