Gallery and Trail to Expose History of Slave Trade

By Hopkirk, Elizabeth | The Evening Standard (London, England), August 21, 2007 | Go to article overview
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Gallery and Trail to Expose History of Slave Trade


Hopkirk, Elizabeth, The Evening Standard (London, England)


THE capital is to get two permanent memorials to the slave trade.

A gallery exploring London's role within the trade will be opened at the Museum in Docklands and the route of a heritage trail is being drawn up to link key sites.

Both will be launched on 10 November the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade by Parliament.

Developed with 506,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the exhibition will be London's first permanent gallery on the subject.

"We are exposing London's role in the slave trade," said co- curator Tom Wareham. "People tend to think of Liverpool and Bristol as the main slave ports but London was much bigger than Bristol. It was the fourth biggest slave port in the world.

"The city's involvement was important not just to its development as a commercial and financial centre but also to Britain's industrial revolution.

"All the profits from the plantations filtered out into organisations like banks and insurance companies, so many people were living off the proceeds of slavery.

"It's all of our history in London but a history people don't know about." The exhibition starts with a focus on London's African community before the transatlantic slave trade began and ends with a reflection on the industry's legacy, which survives today.

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