The City of London Corporation is today launching a review into landmarks and street names that have “historic links to slavery and racism” in the wake of this year’s Black Lives Matter protests.
The three-month review will see the local authority ask people which landmarks “they think are a problem and what action they would like to see taken”.
The review will be chaired by Guildhall’s Tackling Racism Taskforce and comes after a similar review was announced by mayor of London Sadiq Khan earlier this year.
Several statues of slave owners were removed across the UK during the Black Lives Matter protests that were sparked by the murder of George Floyd in the US.
Caroline Addy, co-chair of the Corporation’s Tackling Racism Taskforce, said the Square Mile had “a number of statues and other landmarks with links to the slave trade and historic racism”.
“It’s important that we acknowledge and address this legacy with openness and honesty, and carefully consider what should be done,” she said.
Fellow co-chair of the taskforce Andrien Meyers added: “We know that historical symbols continue to have an impact today and we want to understand how people feel about this aspect of our cultural history and whether such landmarks should be re-sited, reinterpreted or retained as they stand.”
Among the first landmarks to potentially go after the review could be statues of slave owners William Beckford and Sir John Cass that reside in the City of London’s Guildhall base.
City University has said it will remove Cass’ name from its Business School and the City of London may do likewise with a primary school that is named in his honour.