Sat. Jan 16th, 2021
The British Museum, one of London’s leading tourist attractions, on Tuesday said that it had moved a bust of its founder, Sir Hans Sloane, to the Enlightenment Gallery in order to ensure his colonial and slave trading past is fully acknowledged.

British Museum
British Museum(Unsplash)

The British Museum, one of London’s leading tourist attractions, on Tuesday said that it had moved a bust of its founder, Sir Hans Sloane, to the Enlightenment Gallery in order to ensure his colonial and slave trading past is fully acknowledged.

Sloane was a 17th-18th century doctor and collector who amassed a vast amount of material on his travels around the world, including the British colony of Jamaica.

By the time of his death in 1753, he had collected more than 71,000 items and he bequeathed his collection to the nation in his will and it became the founding collection of the British Museum.

In recognition, his bust stood prominently on the museum’s premises but given the recent Black Lives Matter protests against colonial symbols, it has now been moved to be placed among objects that reflect that Sloane’s collection was created in the context of the British Empire and the slave economy.https://dcd6639cf86775f303656c248b324454.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

“Dedication to truthfulness is crucial, when we face our own history. We have taken the bust of Hans Sloane from its pedestal and placed him in the limelight in a case in the centre of the Enlightenment Gallery, acknowledging his relationship to slavery and the slave trade,” Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, said in a statement.

“Sloane allows us to highlight the complexity and ambiguity of this period, he was a physician, collector, scholar, benefactor and slave owner. We will continue to explore our history and we will do this in collaboration with people from across the globe to rewrite our shared, complicated and, at times, very painful history as equals,” he said.

“We continue to acknowledge Sloane’s radical vision of universal free public access to a national museum collection and the public benefit that is generated through the British Museum,” added Fischer, in reference to the free-to-enter museum with only a suggested small donation.https://dcd6639cf86775f303656c248b324454.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

The British Museum said the new display for Sloane’s bust acknowledges that his travels and collecting in colonial Jamaica used enslaved Africans and explores the fact that his collecting was partly financed from the labour of enslaved Africans on his wife’s sugar plantations.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/

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