Leopold II of Belgium

Regional News • Europe
Antwerp city removes King Leopold II statue after anti-racist protest
Statue of King Leopold II in Antwerp
Statue of King Leopold II in Antwerp Credit: Instagram / eriskayconnection

The Belgian city of Antwerp took down a statue of King Leopold II on June 9, days after it was daubed with paint by anti-racism protesters.

Statues of Leopold II were erected all over Belgium and have been at the centre of fierce debate. Calls to take down them have only grown louder as anti-racism protests in the US spread across Europe. At least three Leopold II statues were defaced over the weekend.

According to Johan Vermant, a spokesman for Antwerp's mayor Bart de Wever, the statue is likely to be moved to a museum after its restoration.

Regional News • Europe
Belgium: Petition to remove statues of King Leopold II
Leopold II Statue at Place du Trône
Leopold II Statue at Place du Trône Credit: el legowo / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Petition calls for removal of the statues of King Leopold II of Belgium. Leopold's troops killed millions in Congo during Belgium's colonial era. The petition was started by a 14-year-old boy and has since garnered traction across Europe. Pictures surfaced on Twitter with Leopold's bust (Gent, Belgium) wrapped in a blood-soaked cloth and the words "I Can't Breathe".