Statue of Queen Victoria defaced with 'Black Lives Matter' and 'slave owner’ graffiti

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

A memorial to Queen Victoria in Leeds has been defaced with the words “racist” and “slave owner” following a wave of Black Lives Matter protests.

The monument, situated at Woodhouse Moor in the Hyde Park area of the city, has also been spray-painted with the words “educate”, “colonise”, “justice” and “Black Lives Matter”.

The memorial – designed by sculptor George Frampton – features a large stone plinth with a sculpture of the monarch on top.

A Queen Victoria statue in Leeds was defaced with various slogans. (SWNS)
The statue was daubed with phrases like 'Black Lives Matter' and 'educate'. (SWNS)

It was first erected outside Leeds Town Hall in 1905 and was later moved to another site in the city.

Leeds City Council say it supports freedom of speech but that the graffiti will be removed.

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Graffiti saying 'slave owner' was daubed across the statue. (SWNS)

The incident comes after a statue of slave owner Robert Milligan was removed from its plinth at West India Quays in the Docklands.

It also comes days after a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was pulled down during an anti-racism protest in Bristol.

Queen Victoria became the monarch in 1837, four years after parliament passed the Slavery Abolition Act.

Her reign, which lasted until 1901, saw a huge expansion of the British Empire, making it the most powerful nation in the world.

The statue is situated at Woodhouse Moor in Leeds. (SWNS)
Queen Victoria became the monarch in 1837, four years after parliament passed the Slavery Abolition Act. (Getty)

A number of campaigns have been set up in recent days to remove statues of historical figures with links to slavery, such as Cecil Rhodes and Sir Thomas Picton.

More controversial statues could be taken down after a raft of councils vowed to review such monuments amid anti-racism protests across the country.

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Labour-led councils across England and Wales have agreed to work with their local communities to look at the “appropriateness" of certain monuments and statues on public land and council property.

The review, announced by the Local Government Association's Labour group, came as the killing of George Floyd in the US continued to provoke demonstrations against inequality.

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