2 London statues with links to slave trade set to be removed

Statutes in central London depicting a pair of historical figures with sordid links to the transatlantic slave trade are set to be removed, officials said Thursday.

A committee voted to remove the statues of William Beckford and Sir John Cass from their perch in the stately medieval Guildhall building in the City of London.

Beckford, a slave owner and two-time Lord Mayor of London in the 18th century, fattened his pockets through plantations in Jamaica. Cass, a merchant and parliamentarian, also derived wealth from the slave trade.

“The slave trade is a stain on our history and putting those who profited from it literally on a pedestal is something that has no place in a modern, diverse City,” Caroline Addy, the co-chair of the racism task force that recommended the move, said in a statement.

The City Corporation’s Tackling Racism Taskforce was formed in June after Black Lives Matter protests.

The City of London, located north of the River Thames and not far from Westminster, is the financial hub of London.