British Museum shifts founder’s bust over slavery links
LONDON: The British Museum has moved a bust of its founder Sir Hans Sloane to an “enlightenment gallery” because of his links to slavery, officials said on Tuesday.
The likeness of Sloane in the central London landmark has been put alongside other artefacts explaining they were collected through the slave economy at the time of the British Empire.
“Dedication to truthfulness is crucial, when we face our own history,” said Hartwig Fischer, museum director, in a statement.
“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.” It added that Sloane’s work showed the “complexity and ambiguity” of the period he lived in as he was a scholar and benefactor as well as a slave owner.ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD
Sloane, who lived in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, was married to a Jamaican sugar plantation heiress.
As well as his collections, Sloane’s name has been used for various places across London, including Sloane Square in the upmarket district of Chelsea.