Clive of India statue in Shrewsbury receives information board grant

  • Published
The Robert Clive statue in ShrewsburyImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Robert Clive served as MP and mayor for Shrewsbury

An information board to explain the history of Shropshire's Clive of India statue will be installed after petitions called for it to be removed.

The statue has been standing in Shrewsbury since 1860 and the council voted in July for its retention.

The authority said it had received a £7,000 grant to provide a board and would consult groups on its wording.

It was not revealed at the council meeting on Thursday where the money has come from.

Calls for the statue's removal were sparked by Black Lives Matter protests this summer which saw a statue of slave trader Edward Colston torn down by demonstrators in Bristol.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The statue is of Shropshire-born Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive of Plassey - the anglicised name for the Bengali village, Palashi

Shropshire Council received three petitions about the statue - two calling for its removal and one in favour of keeping it - and each were discussed by councillors.

At the last full meeting in July, councillors agreed by 28 votes to 17 to take no further action and keep it.

'Right direction'

The authority had said removing it would be hard as it was Grade II listed and the listed status would mean an information board giving more history about Clive's life would not be allowed.

Councillor Steve Charmley, portfolio holder for assets, said at the meeting that he welcomed the grant after "extensive debate" at the previous meeting to reach an agreed way forward.

"I am pleased to report that we have now received a grant of £7,000 to provide an interpretation board there and we will be intending to consult with local groups to agree a form of words to go on that board," he said.

David Parton, who sent one of the petitions opposed to the statue, said the move was a "step in the right direction".

"Whilst no plaque could ever make good the statue's celebration of Clive's crimes, installing a contextual plaque would be a small step in the right direction," he said.

"Fundamentally, only moving the statue to a museum will show Shropshire Council is serious about addressing Clive's murderous legacy and the racism his statue symbolises." he added.

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