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Pub sign removed amid racism protests

Part of an 18th Century pub sign in Ashbourne has been removed by protestors after it became a target of criticism amid the ongoing anti-racism demonstrations.

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It is not yet clear if the figure will be returned to the sign at a later date

The iron and wood figure of a black man’s head was taken down from The Green Man & Black's Head sign in the town on the evening of June 8th.

Derbyshire Dales District Council said that approximately 150 locals gathered to voice their criticism of the sign, with a local councillor pledging that the Council would temporarily remove part of the sign.

However, the group, who were equipped with ladders, decided that they would remove the figure themselves. The District Council said it did not want to create a confrontation and as such did not object to the removal.

More than 40,000 people had already signed a petition calling for the removal of the figure.

“We need to decide the next steps, including any consultation process,” the Council said. “For clarity, if any decision was taken in the future to remove the head permanently, it would need listed building consent and, as a Grade II* listed structure, would require consultation with Historic England.

“Because it has a Grade II* listing, we cannot grant consent to ourselves without referral.”

The removal of the figure comes after protestors in Bristol tore down a statue of 17th Century slave trader Edward Colston as part of anti-racism demonstrations in the UK.

The protests were sparked by similar movements in the US, in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while being restrained by a white Minneapolis police officer.

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