"He was a racist": Winston Churchill statue in Prague vandalized

The statue of Winston Churchill outside the University of Economics in Prague was spray painted 'Black Lives Matter' this morning

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 11.06.2020 12:33 (updated on 11.06.2020)

A statue of Winston Churchill in Prague has been vandalized in the wake of similar incidents across the United States and Europe.

“Byl rasista” (“He was a racist”), reads an inscription at the base of the Winston Churchill statue outside the University of Economics in Prague’s Winston Churchill Square.

“Black Lives Matter.”

Prague police are currently documenting the incident.

“The police are on the scene, documenting the whole thing,” Prague police spokesperson Jan Rybanský told local server iRozhlas.cz.

“At the moment, the legal qualification of the act has not yet been determined, nor has the amount of damage been determined.”

According to Prague 3 Town Hall, the damage is estimated to be in the range of 750 crowns.

“At the moment, our antigraffiti team is going there, they will remove the spraying, but the damage is not great,” Prague 3 spokesperson Lucie Bukovanská told iRozhlas.cz.

“It is in the order of hundreds of crowns. We approach this as ordinary vandalism and it is not an incentive for us to think about removing the statue.”

Due to the low value of the damage, Prague 3 is not considering filing a criminal complaint against the perpetrator. The cleaning of the statue was documented on social media.

The vandalism of Prague’s Churchill statue follows similar incidents involving statues of historical figures in the US and UK, and a nearly identical incident in London earlier this week.

Calls have been made to remove statues of Winston Churchill, as have been done with similar statues in the country.

London mayor Sadiq Khan gave a level-headed response when asked if the city’s statue of Churchill would be removed.

“Look, nobody is perfect,” Kahn told BBC Radio 4. “Whether that’s Churchill, whether that’s Gandhi or Malcolm X.”

“So there’s a conversation to be had about making sure that the national curriculum properly teaches our children about people’s warts and all and some of the things they’ve done that we don’t approve of.”

“But there are some statues that are quite a clear cut.”

“Slavers, quite a clear cut in my view. Plantation owners, quite a clear cut.”

Statues of slaveholder Robert Milligan and slave trader Edward Colston have been torn down in the UK over the past week.

Demonstrators lied down for eight minutes and forty-six seconds at Old Town Square before marching to the American Embassy.