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

The Queen Victoria statue in Leeds was defaced with various slogans. (SWNS)

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 Victorian sculptor George Frampton – features a large stone plinth with a sculptor of the monarch on top.

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Queen Victoria statue defaced
The Queen Victoria statue in Leeds was defaced with various slogans. (SWNS)
Council workers clean graffiti, that included the letters "BLM" and the words "murderer" and "slave owner", from a statue of Queen Victoria in Woodhouse Moor, Leeds, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Member of the public Graham Newby leaves a sign that reads "Leave her alone who as ever done this hang your head in shame" on a statue of Queen Victoria in Woodhouse Moor, Leeds, that had been graffitied with the letters BLM and the words "murderer" and "slave owner", following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Council workers clean graffiti, that included the letters "BLM" and the words "murderer" and "slave owner", from a statue of Queen Victoria in Woodhouse Moor, Leeds, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Council workers clean a statue of Britain's Queen Victoria that was defaced in Woodhouse Moor Park in Leeds, northern England on June 10, 2020. - Britain has seen days of protests sparked by the death in police custody of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in the United States. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Council workers clean a statue of Britain's Queen Victoria that was defaced in Woodhouse Moor Park in Leeds, northern England on June 10, 2020. - Britain has seen days of protests sparked by the death in police custody of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in the United States. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
A statue of Britain's Queen Victoria stands defaced in Woodhouse Moor Park in Leeds, northern England on June 10, 2020. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
A statue of Britain's Queen Victoria stands defaced in Woodhouse Moor Park in Leeds, northern England on June 10, 2020. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
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It was first erected outside Leeds Town Hall in 1905 and was later moved to another site in the city.

Leeds City Council say they "support freedom of speech" but that the graffiti will be removed.

The incident comes the day 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.

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.

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 (LGA) Labour group, came as the killing of George Floyd in the US continued to provoke demonstrations against inequality.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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