Thursday, December 1, 2022

Neuchâtel changes controversial monument

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commemorative plaque inaugurated

Neuchâtel changes controversial monument

Neuchâtel casts a new light on the bronze statue of David de Pury, which has been objected to by opponents of racism. A plaque with explanations was inaugurated on Thursday. The merchant was a benefactor to the city, but made part of his fortune from slavery.

The sculpture “Great in the concrete” by the artist Mathias Pfund now stands next to the statue of David de Pury in Neuchâtel. Together with an explanation board, it puts the monument in a new light.

“A public body has a duty to document its past, including its downsides. Without this, there is no democratic, pluralistic and inclusive society,” said Thomas Facchinetti, the local councilor responsible for social cohesion, to a number of guests.

The explanatory plaque is intended to provide a brief overview of the 18th-century merchant’s life and the posthumous erection of the statue. “It should also be a tribute to the people who were deprived of their freedom, exploited and dehumanized in the context of the triangular trade,” explained Facchinetti. There are twelve translations of the text on the plaque, accessible via QR codes on the city’s website.

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