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Arts feature

Stop tearing down controversial statues, says British-Guyanan artist Hew Locke

Rather than tearing statues down, Hew Locke believes in reworking them to highlight their place in our imperial history. Stuart Jeffries speaks to him

16 July 2022

9:00 AM

16 July 2022

9:00 AM

When Hew Locke was growing up in Guyana, he would pass by the statue of Queen Victoria in front of Georgetown’s law courts. Henry Richard Hope-Pinker’s 1894 statue had been commissioned to mark the monarch’s golden jubilee, but not long after Guyana became independent from British rule in 1970, the statue was beheaded and the remains thrown into bushes in the botanical gardens.

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Hew Locke: Foreign Exchange is in Victoria Square, Birmingham, until 15 August. Hew Locke: The Procession is in the Duveen Galleries, Tate Britain, until 22 January 2023.

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