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Paintings of governors connected to slave trade taken down at Bank of England

The Bank of England have announced that they have discarded art, from oil paintings to busts, of governors who have been associated with the slave trade.

The Bank of England and the City of London financial district in London - Credit: REUTERS/John Sibley

This decision to review the art follows on from the BLM (Black Lives Matter) protests happening last year.

The artwork included: James Bateman, Robert Bristow, Robert Clayton, William Dawsonne, William Manning and John Pearse. As well as, Gilbert Heathcote, the Bank’s founding director and a governor.

Back in June of 2020, the BoE (Bank of England) released a statement regarding the bank's relation to the slave trade. In the statement the bank apologised for its previous ties. They said:

"As an institution, the Bank of England was never itself directly involved in the slave trade, but is aware of some inexcusable connections involving former Governors and Directors and apologises for them".

The statement continues by stating what they have done to eradicate their connection:

"The Bank has commenced a thorough review of its collection of images of former Governors and Directors to ensure none with any such involvement in the slave trade remain on display anywhere in the Bank" - Bank of England

However, the statement also highlighted the steps they have took in order to move away from this. They said: "The Bank is committed to improving diversity and is actively engaging with staff, particularly with our BAME colleagues".

"to help us identify and shape concrete steps that can be taken now to progress the Bank’s efforts to be as inclusive as possible".


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