There is a lovely little story simmering all week in the meeja here.
The Shelbourne Hotel is one of Dublin’s great landmarks since 1824. There are few Irish who aren’t familiar with the building.
The front of the building is graced by four bronze statues holding lamps. They are part of the essence of the hotel façade and an integral part of the architecture.
But now they’re gone.
Last Monday, the hotel removed them. There was no reason whatsoever other than pandering to the Black Lives Matter rabble and mob rule ideology. The statues apparently represented two princesses and their two slaves, so any mention of slavery had to be removed according to the spineless management. [Working on that theory then presumably we’ll have to abolish Saint Patrick from the history books too as he was a slave?]
Hotel management said on Tuesday they took the decision to remove the pieces, which have been in place for 153 years, in light of world events and the Black Lives Matter movement calling attention to the legacy of slavery around the world.
Anyhow, there was a bit of an uproar over the removal of the statues. Dubliners weren’t too happy with the removal of something they reckoned was part of old Dublin. And then the Council got involved. The hotel is a protected structure and the statues are considered to be part of that structure and so planning permission has to be obtained before removing them. Naturally they didn’t have that.
There is a lovely further twist in the story of the moving statues now. A leading art historian seemingly took an interest in the story and has announced that the statues aren’t of slaves at all. The anklets on the feet of two of the statues are presumably decorative bangles and not manacles as the management assumed. They do in fact depict two Egyptian women and two sub-Saharan women. You could even argue that the statues honour the very people that Black Lives Matter are on about?
So now presumably the hotel will have to replace the statues.
The moral of the story is simple.
Don’t kowtow to mob rule.