$20,000 well spent.
That’s how Alex Downes, one of the key people behind the lobby to remove Lord Nelson’s statue from National Heroes’ Square, feels about the financial costs attached to the project.
The 31-year-old Downes, whose petition to have the statue removed garnered over 12,000 signatures and was instrumental in Government’s decision to take down the 200-year-old statue, said while some people might be concerned about the price tag, it was well worth the costs.
Reacting to the announcement today that Lord Nelson would be removed on November 16, he said he was pleased to see that the voice of Barbadians had been heard.
“I really feel like it’s a major moment for the country. The decision to move the statue, the date and the timing with Independence and the discussion about becoming a Republic, I feel as though it involved laying the framework for us to become a more socially conscious country going forward.
“So I’m really excited about it and I’m excited about what it means for the country,” Downes told Barbados TODAY.
He said with Government having lost hundreds of millions of dollars due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he understood why some people would question the need to spend close to $20,000 to remove the statue at this time.
However, he assured Barbadians that the statue’s removal could not be valued in dollars and cents.
“I understand that everyone is going to be concerned about the money spent because of COVID times and people are concerned about the finances of the country and their own pockets, but I think there are some things you can’t put a dollars and cents value on,” Downes said.
“The social impact is going to be much greater, so while I understand the situation in terms of the finances, I think the social impact is going to balance it out and it will actually be more worthwhile for us as a country.”
Pan Africanist and social activist David Denny was also pleased at the news that Lord Nelson was being moved to the Barbados Museum and Historical Society.
Back in June, Denny organized a series of protests demanding Government remove the statue.
However, he said he was disappointed that Government had neither informed Pan Africanists about its decision nor invited them to today’s press conference at the Wildey Gymnasium.
“I am happy that the Government has come to a position to remove the statue on November 16, but I am disappointed that the Government should have fully reported that position to the Pan Africanist organisation by having a meeting with us.
“I would also have been happy if the Government had included the Pan African organisation in their press conference,” Denny said.
He said a press conference would be held next Tuesday where Pan Africanists would speak on the matter.