'Assassin': another Leopold II statue vandalised

'Assassin': another Leopold II statue vandalised
The statue after the first time it was defaced. © Belga

A statue of Belgian King Leopold II at Place du Trône in Brussels has been partially covered with red paint and various inscriptions.

Statues of the Belgian ruler throughout the country have been defaced in recent days, as the controversial King has become a hot topic following the surge in the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd.

In this instance, Leopold II's hands were painted red in reference to the blood on the King's hands for the inhuman acts perpetrated in the Congo. Various inscriptions such as "assassin," “f**k u" or "no justice, no peace" were also painted on the monument.

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The Brussels police is drawing up a report, according to police spokesman Olivier Slosse, and they are “seeing what we can find” as a means of identifying who defaced the statue.

On Tuesday, Brussels’ Secretary for Urbanism and Heritage, Pascal Smet, announced that he was going to ask the Brussels government to organise a debate on the future of the statues of King Leopold II in the Brussels-Capital Region.

If this debate, conducted with the Congolese community in Brussels and scientists, shows that these statues must disappear, he is ready to issue the necessary authorisations.

On Tuesday, a statue of King Leopold II was removed from Ekeren for restoration, after it had been vandalised and set on fire. It is possible that it will not be put back in place, but will instead be installed in Antwerp’s Middelheim park.

A petition was launched to have the statue in Ekeren replaced with one of Belgian footballer Toby Alderweireld, who is from the area.

Other statues were defaced at the Africa Museum in Tervuren and in Ghent.

The University of Mons took down its statue of Leopold II on Monday, and the University of Leuven is being asked to have its Leopold II bust removed as well.

Jason Spinks

The Brussels Times

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