Authorities in the city of Halle have decided to return the damaged bust of Leopold II to the city park, awaiting a wider societal debate on the future of the statues of the controversial former monarch.
An inscription on the bust reads: “Halle does not give in to vandalism”.
The bust had been removed by the city’s services on June 14 after first being vandalized and then removed from its base by unknown persons.
By reintegrating it into the public space, the City wants to underline that it will not bow to vandalism. The municipal authorities will consult in the autumn with various associations such as the cultural council to decide on the future of the bust.
Even before the colonial past reappeared in the public debate, the local council had planned to revise the presentation of the bust of Leopold II, attaching to it an explanatory plaque and a QR-code giving access to illustrated information on the former sovereign and his “private colony” of Congo.