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The historic statue of Belgian King Leopold II was removed in Antwerp in the midst of protests

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The historic statue of Belgian King Leopold II was removed in Antwerp in the midst of protests

A long-standing controversial statue of former Belgian king Leopold II has been taken down after being set ablaze last week during global unrest over the death of police prisoner George Floyd, according to a report.

Protesters in Antwerp have long criticized the 150-year-old statue as a symbol of the country’s violent past. Leopold II captured Congo in the late 19th century and ran a brutal regime, plundered the land for personal gain and killed 10 million people, Brussels Times reports.

To try to overcome the anger over the monument, Antwerp in 2018 added a sign to contextualize the Belgian colonial government.

But the statue was completely removed on Tuesday morning after suffering “severe damage” during the fire, and will be moved to the Middelheim Museum in Antwerp for restoration, officials said.

“The statue has been damaged and will be removed and temporarily stored in the statue collection at the Middelheim Museum, where the statue will be restored,” Johan Vermant, spokesman for the mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever, told The Brussels Times.

Officials say they do not know when the restoration will be completed, but the redesign of the upcoming public space that once stood is likely to mean it will never return.

“Because the square where the statue stands will be redesigned in 2023, and there will be no room for it afterwards, it will probably remain part of the museum’s collection,” Vermant said.

The broken statue of former Belgian king Leopold II is seen being moved for possible renovations in Ekeren, Belgium.
The broken statue of former Belgian king Leopold II is seen being moved for possible renovations in Ekeren, Belgium.through REUTERS

The statue is one of several dedicated to Leopold II in Belgium which officials are now considering removing, the Brussels Times reported.

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This is also among several controversial statues around the world – including in the United States – which have been overcome in response to the recent civil unrest over racism and police brutality.

In the US, protesters have successfully lobbied to remove a statue in Philadelphia from the controversial former Mayor Frank Rizzo.

Meanwhile demonstrators in the south have targeted a number of confederate monuments. Virginia is looking to erase the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, which has been severely damaged during recent protests.

Protesters in the Virginia capital have taken it themselves to bring down another statue of the confederation there, General Williams Carter Wickham.

And in Britain, protesters knocked down a bronze statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston on Sunday and dumped it into the port of Bristol.

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The future of the oceans is in the hands of the youth

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The future of the oceans is in the hands of the youth

“It’s in the hands of the young protect the planet and especially oceans“That was the main message. Youth and Innovation Forum during United Nations Ocean Conferenceon the beach of Carcavelos, Portugal.

The presence on the beach of actor Jason Momoa, known for his roles in Aquaman and the TV series Game of Thrones, is intended to convey to the younger generation the importance of combating climate change.

At the end of this meeting, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa issued a warning: “To be heard and to be important in the climate or in the oceans, they must fight and win in your name. be your main allies, but not the majority.”

UN Secretary General António Guterres gave a speech about my guilt. “Let me start with the words of the President of Portugal to apologize on behalf of my generation to your generation in connection with the state of the oceans, the state of biodiversity and the state of climate change,” António Guterres said.

The Oceans Conference will be held in Lisbon until the end of this week and will be attended by Heads of State and Government from all continents.

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Thiago Monteiro in 14th and 15th before the arrival of the WTCR in Portugal – Observer

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Thiago Monteiro in 14th and 15th before the arrival of the WTCR in Portugal - Observer

Portuguese driver Thiago Monteiro (Honda) finished 14th and 15th this Sunday in the two World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) races held in Aragon, Spain, which precede the Vila Real race.

The Portuguese rider always rode in the tail, he was hindered by the fact that Honda had more excess weight than his rivals.

“If they told me that I would be in this position, I would not believe it. But the reality is that we have not been able to withstand a number of adversities. From the moment when the pace is much lower than other rivals, we are prepared in advance. It’s heartbreaking,” the Portuguese rider began his explanation after the fourth round of the championship.

The Portuguese rider struggled to find the best balance in his Civic, as did his teammate, Hungarian Attila Tassi.

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“We still had problems, and we could not reach the full potential of the car. It was very difficult, unpleasant and discouraging, especially since we are going to Vila Real and this scenario does not suit me. But we will have to continue to look for our own path and believe that everything will work out, ”Thiago Monteiro concluded.

Belgian Giles Magnus (Audi) and Spaniard Mikel Ascona (Hyundai) won both races on Sunday.

Ascona leads the league with 129 points, while Thiago Monteiro is 16th with 12 points.

The WTCR competition in Portugal will take place next weekend in Vila Real.

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Joao Almeida became the champion of Portugal in cycling

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Joao Almeida became the champion of Portugal in cycling

This Sunday, Portuguese cyclist João Almeida (UAE-Emirates) became the Portuguese champion in cross-country cycling for the first time, winning the elite national championships held in Mogaduro.

In his first online race since Joao Almeida was forced to pull out of the Vuelta Italia after testing positive for the coronavirus, he won his first national title since becoming time trial champion in 2021.

Almeida crossed the finish line in Mogadora, covering the 167.5 km distance in 4:08.42 hours, 52 seconds behind Thiago Antunes (Efapel) second, Fabio Costa (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor) third, and Rui Oliveira (UAE). – Emirates), fourth.

In the end, João Almeida stated that he was “very pleased” with the victory, admitting that the race “went very well” and thanking his teammates.

Former national champion José Neves (W52-FC Porto) did not finish the race, as did Rafael Reis (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor) who won the time trial title on Friday.

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