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To: The Museum of the Home

Remove the statue of slave trader Robert Geffrye in Hackney

Remove the statue of slave trader Robert Geffrye in Hackney

Remove the statue of slave trader Robert Geffrye from the Museum of the Home in Hackney.

Why is this important?

We should condemn, not celebrate, the slave traders of England's past.

Sir Robert Geffrye (1613–1703) was an English slave trader. He made his fortune with the East India Company and the Royal African Company and used this money to build the Alms Houses that became the Museum of the Home.

There was recently a huge public consultation on the future of the statue, where 71% of people said the museum should take down the statue. The museum board then ignored the wishes of local people, and ignored the recommendation from their own internal paper, and instead bowed to pressure from a culture secretary Oliver Dowden to keep the statue in pride of place. This is shameful.

Robert Geffrye should be condemned to the history books so that we can learn from the shameful past. He should no longer be celebrated with a prominent statue. Take him off the front of the building perhaps stick it down in the basement of the museum as an exhibit where we can teach children about how horrible the slave trade was.

Notes:
FOI request: Board minutes and public consultation results
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/minutes_of_the_board_meeting_whe#incoming-1648912

Museum Felt 'Extremely Compromised' By Minister's Plea To Keep Slave Trader Statue
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/museum-of-the-home-robert-geffrye-statue_uk_5f480bb2c5b6cf66b2b4ed4c

Museum of the Home, Geffrye Almshouses, 136 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8EA, UK

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Category

Updates

2020-07-29 21:41:27 +0100

Our petition is mentioned both in local and national news about the museum's shameful decision:

https://www.hackneycitizen.co.uk/2020/07/29/museum-homes-decision-robert-geffrye-statue-swift-backlash/

https://metro.co.uk/2020/07/29/london-museum-decides-keep-statue-slave-ship-owner-13056192/

2020-07-29 16:43:50 +0100

The Museum of the Home have today decided to keep the statue of slave trader Robert Geffrye in pride of place on the front of their building.

As you know the museum ran a public consultation on what to do with the statue of slave trader Robert Geffrye.

According to their statement today "Many people took time to share their views in the public consultation. Overall, the response was in favour of removing the statue."

However in short: "In July 2020 the Board of Trustees decided not to remove the statue."

I'm left wondering why they bothered to hold a consultation in the first place?

You can read their full statement on their website.

Our campaign continues...

2020-06-17 21:40:32 +0100

Our petition has been written about in the Hackney Gazette
3000 signatures and counting

https://www.hackneygazette.co.uk/news/heritage/black-lives-matter-scrutiny-of-monuments-and-statues-around-north-london-1-6700657

2020-06-12 10:33:52 +0100

Two statues of people involved in the history of Guy's and St Thomas' hospitals will be removed due to their links with the slave trade. The Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust announced on Thursday that the figures depicting Robert Clayton and Thomas Guy will be taken out of public view.

Our campaign is also quoted in this article too! Come on Museum of the Home, remove the Geffrye Statue

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/guys-st-thomas-hospital-remove-statue-slave-trade-a4466846.html

2020-06-12 09:44:24 +0100

We're now making national news! With nearly 3000 signatures, the story of our campaign is now being picked up by newspapers across the country.

But the museum still hasn't committed from taking the statue down from pride of place in their grounds. Please continue to share the petition and keep the pressure up.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/museum-debating-future-statue-commemorating-18406636

https://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/museum-debating-future-statue-commemorating-4218339

2020-06-11 11:52:47 +0100

Update! The local paper the Hackney Citizen has covered our campaign and quoted it in the article!

Hackney Council announced last night that it would be reviewing the role of statues, building and street names, parks and other public spaces will be reviewed to ensure they reflect the borough’s diversity and anti-racist history, but community educator Toyin Agbetu of human rights organisation Ligali called on the Town Hall to move faster.

Addressing the council directly, Agbetu said: “With respect, a review is not good enough. Bristol reviewed the matter for years..."

https://www.hackneycitizen.co.uk/2020/06/10/council-review-statues-place-names-calls-for-change/

2020-06-10 15:40:45 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2020-06-10 12:37:18 +0100

500 signatures reached

2020-06-10 07:10:14 +0100

100 signatures reached

2020-06-09 22:58:32 +0100

50 signatures reached

2020-06-09 22:02:08 +0100

25 signatures reached

2020-06-09 20:53:57 +0100

10 signatures reached