Debunked: English cathedral York Minster's statue of Constantine not under threat | #TheCube

York Minster is the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe
York Minster is the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe Copyright FILE - AP Photo/Sibby Christensen // Danny Lawson/PA via AP
By Matthew HolroydSofia Sanchez Manzanaro
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York Minster told Euronews it has not received "a single complaint" about the statue of the Roman emperor.


English cathedral York Minster has denied reports that a statue of Roman emperor Constantine the Great could be removed from its grounds. 

An article published by Spanish broadcaster ABC has suggested that the statue is under threat "after complaints received that the Roman emperor supported slavery in his time".

The story was also reported by UK newspapers the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph.

But in a statement to Euronews, a York Minster spokesperson said it had not received a "single complaint" about the monument.

"We are not removing Emperor Constantine’s statue. Nothing is happening: there is no discussion, action, intention, or even thoughts about it."

The Church of England has launched a review of all monuments in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby said statues would be reviewed "very carefully" at major places of worship in England.

York Minster says they have been asked to review their memorials for "examples which symbolise and reflect prejudices and discrimination being experienced by people today".

"The transatlantic slave trade is the most prominent example and has a contemporary manifestation".

But the Minster underlined that Constantine and the Roman era do not fall into this category.

The bronze statue of Constantine the Great in York was designed by sculptor Philip Jackson and commissioned by York Civic Trust in 1998.

It commemorates Constantine's accession as Roman Emperor in AD 306, following the death of his father in York.

Across Europe, monuments have become a major focus of contention in demonstrations against racism and police violence.

On Tuesday Belgium confronted its colonial past and a bust of a King Leopold II, held responsible for the death of millions of Africans, was taken off public display.

Meanwhile last month, a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was hauled from its plinth by protesters in the city of Bristol last month, and authorities in London also removed a monument of slave owner Robert Milligan from its perch in the docklands.

Campaigners in Oxford are pressing for a statue of Victorian imperialist Cecil Rhodes to be withdrawn at the world-famous University.

The removal of colonial statues has however divided opinion, with some seeing it as an attempt to extenuate history.

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