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Slave statue is restored

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editorial image

A controversial 18th century statue reflecting the history of the slave trade is to be a centrepiece of the newly renovated conservatory at Wentworth Castle, near Barnsley.

The Blackamoor statue - also known as the Kneeling Slave - symbolised the profitabilty of the slave trade, and similar pieces were popular garden ornaments in the early 1700s.

It is one of only 11 known to have survived and was fully restored three years ago.

Over time the lead statues came to be associated with the anti-slavery movement, who adopted it as their symbol.

In the mid-1980s students at Wentworth showed their disapproval by painting the Blackamoor white.

Heritage Trust director Claire Herring said: “The statue will most certainly be a talking point. It is an opportunity to remember our political and cultural history, however uncomfortable it might be, and to acknowledge that the wealth of many great houses was linked to the slave trade.”

The glasshouse is to reopen tomorrow.

 

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