Administrators in La Rochelle, France, have placed signs explaining the city’s links to the slave trade on several streets, with the mayor claiming the signs are simply educational.
The new signs were posted in seven streets of La Rochelle on Monday. They are the first of their kind and detail the historical events linked to the slave trade era in the city.
The Rue de l’Armide is one of the streets with a new plaque, and it refers to Pierre Gabriel Admyrauld, an 18th-century slave trader. It notes that the street is named after his ship, the Armide, which derived its name from a poem by the 16th-century Italian poet Torquato Tasso, BFMTV reports.
According to the broadcaster, La Rochelle saw 420 ships depart the city as part of the slave trade between the 16th and 19th centuries, with an estimated 130,000 slaves transported from the West Coast of Africa to the French Caribbean colony of Saint-Domingue, now modern-day Haiti.
Historic England ‘Audits’ Villages and Churches For Connection to Slave Trade https://t.co/lETOM7Wo2Y
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 8, 2021
Mayor of La Rochelle Jean-François Fountaine explained the reason for the new plaques around the city, saying: “This is not repentance, it is knowledge.”
In 2017, a group of far-left activists in Paris published their own Guide to Colonial Paris, which listed 200 streets in the French capital named after men allegedly linked to the slave trade, arguing that their names should be removed.
The new plaques in La Rochelle come just months after the British government-funded Historic England compiled a list of farms, schools, village halls, pubs, and churches that they claim have some connection to the slave trade.
According to the group, the list will be used to “tell a fuller story of England’s rich and complex history”. They denied it would be used to “delist” structures from the National Heritage List.
French Communists Plot to Tear Down Nation’s ‘Racist’ Heritage https://t.co/dBcNGCtIQN
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 8, 2017
Since the Black Lives Matter protests and riots last year across the Western world, there have been several moves to not only label areas or statues with links to the slave trade but to remove or rename them entirely.
In the Belgian city of Antwerp, a statue of former King Leopold II, who had become known for overseeing atrocities in central Africa in the 19th century, was removed after being set on fire and damaged by so-called anti-racism protesters.