5-speed listening (King Leopold II Statue - Level 2)

Statue of Belgian King taken down after protests






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Anti-racism protestors in Antwerp, Belgium covered a statue of former King Leopold II in paint. The city then pulled the statue down. The king ruled from 1865 to 1909. He ruled the Congo Free State in Africa for 23 years. Hundreds of protestors cheered as workers took the statue off its stand. City officials will probably put the statue in a city museum. One official said: "The square where the statue stood will be redesigned in 2023. There will be no room for it there afterwards. It will remain part of the museum's collection."

Over 64,000 people signed an online petition on Tuesday. They want more people to know about what happened in the Congo. The petition said: "In the space of 23 years, this man killed more than 10 million Congolese without ever having set foot in the Congo." A newspaper said these deaths led to the first use of the term, "crime against humanity". Leopold made a huge personal fortune from the rubber plantations he owned. Over 8,000 people signed a different petition. They believe he was not a "slave king". They say the people who ran the Congo caused the millions of deaths.

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