The mayor of the north Colombian city of Cartagena on Tuesday requested the removal of a plaque that had been unveiled by Prince Charles last week but received criticism for commemorating an attack on the city in 1741.
The plaque, unveiled only days before Cartagena’s independence day celebrations on November 11, has been received by locals as an unpleasant reminder of the suffering and bloodshed suffered by the local population during the colonization period.
“I never imagined that the text, which I understood to be a limited record of an historical event, would awaken such a negative reaction,” stated mayor Dionisio Vélez in an interview with El Tiempo.
Local radio station Blu Radio reported that one man has recently been detained for damaging the plaque by striking it repeatedly with a hammer. The man, Jaime Rendon, stated that the plaque “had too many errors and brings pain to everyone.”
The governor of the Bolivar state, Juan Carlos Gossain, claimed that for Cartagena to “put up a plaque in honor of the English is the same as a bank putting up a plaque in honor of the thieves that rob it.”
He further questioned the necessity of the plaque, asking “why isn’t there a tribute in London to the Nazi pilots who died while bombing the city during World War II?”
History teacher Sergio Paolo Lozano told El Heraldo that the plaque was “a knee-jerk reaction that evidences to needs of the elite who lost prominence in the country’s political scene, and now intend to take refuge in the history of Cartagena.”
- Alcalde de Cartagena ordena retirar placa que destapó príncipe Carlos (El Tiempo)
- Gobernador de Bolívar critica placa que descubrió príncipe Carlos (El Tiempo)
- Placa en honor a víctimas inglesas de batalla en Cartagena causa indignación (El Heraldo)
- A martillazos, hombre destruyó placa develada por príncipe Carlos en Cartagena (Blu Radio)