A QUANGO responsible for protecting Britain’s heritage has ignited a storm of criticism after posting a message suggesting Nelson’s Column should be bulldozed.
Historic England posted the gif of the monument being demolished by a wrecking ball and asked followers “What should we do with controversial statues?”
Twitter users branded the tweet as pandering to a ‘snowflake’ generation
The Victorian monument in Trafalgar Square commemorates Admiral Horatio Nelson who led Britain to a series of victories against Napoleon.
Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg told the Daily Mail that it appeared to flout Historic England’s charter pledge to accommodate and manage change and “minimise the loss” of historic assets.
The debate comes after left-wing students at Oxford University started the Rhodes Must Fall campaign to remove a statue of Cecil Rhodes from Oriel College.
Twitter user Arthur Guimard wrote: “There is no debate, you wouldn’t burn [a] painting in the National Gallery because they represent Napleon or Henry VIII, destroying sculptures is the same. Plus Historic England has one job only, PROTECT, you are not there for debating.”
Getty – Contributor The Victorian monument commemorates a series of victories over Napoleon by Nelson
Another angry Twitter user, going by the name Uncle Junior, Tweeted: “The thing is they are only controversial to lefty snowflakes, the majority of the population are proud of them so leave them alone.”
Other users pointed out that the purpose of history is to learn from it, not remove it as they believed the gif was suggesting.
Duncan Wardlaw posted on the social media site saying: “Funny how they are suddenly controversial.
“Maybe the generation of easily offended whiners need to learn what historical monuments represent as some are things to aspire to while others are reminders of what not to repeat.
The gif showed the iconic column being bulldozed
Twitter users pointed out the quango’s job is to protect historical assets
“Only idiots can’t tell the difference.”
A Historic England spokesman told the Daily Mail: “A gif we shared to promote a live Intelligence Squared debate that we are supporting about England’s statues, showed a cartoon image of Nelson’s Column being knocked down.
“Nelson’s Column was chosen because it is so iconic and well-recognised.
“This does not mean we are in favour of demolition of any monument and the debate is not about Nelson’s column itself.
Many users accused the quango of pandering to ‘lefty snowflakes’
Twitter users were less than impressed with Historic England’s gif
Other pointed out that historic artefacts were integral to teaching children about history
“It is about how the nation responds to criticism of our public statues and monuments and what they are thought to represent.
“The gif was intended to get this across in a quick and memorable way but we know it has caused some concern so we won’t be sharing it again.’
He added debates around what to do with monuments to historic figures are raging around the world.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 782 4368 . We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.