Statue of scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell has protective casing removed

8 July 2020, 23:19

The statue had been surrounded by protective casing
The statue had been surrounded by protective casing. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

A statue of scouts leader Robert Baden-Powell, which was placed on a target lists of statues, has had its protective casing removed.

The local council announced that the statue is back on display in Poole, Dorset.

It was temporarily taken down in June in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests.

Activists had called for the statue to be taken down due to Baden-Powell's association with the Nazis, Hitler Youth Programme and military.

The removal, which happened in June, was initially delayed after groups of people gathered around the statue to protect it.

More than 36,000 people singed a petition to keep the statue in place.

The statue is in Poole, Dorset
The statue is in Poole, Dorset. Picture: PA
The casing has now been removed
The casing has now been removed. Picture: PA

Vikki Slade, leader of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, said: "The initial decision to remove the statue was based upon the risk to public safety, and to the statue itself and was only ever intended as a temporary measure.

"Our advice is that the risk is now minimal and we have decided to remove the protective hoarding."

"We are actively working with the Scout Association to consider how best to reflect the wider aspects of the life of Lord Baden-Powell but do intend to retain it in its place overlooking Brownsea Island to reflect the strong links with Scouting and the positive impact on the lives of children all over the world."

Many scouts came to protect the statue
Many scouts came to protect the statue. Picture: PA
The council said that "the risk is now minimal"
The council said that "the risk is now minimal". Picture: PA

The World Organisation of the Scout Movement defended the statue, saying that Baden-Powell lived in a "different era with different realities".

The organisation said: "Scouting offers an inclusive environment to bring young people of all races, cultures and religions together, and creates opportunities for dialogue about how to promote peace, justice and equality.

"The movement that was founded in 1907 on Brownsea Island stands strong in its promotion of diversity and inclusion which are cornerstones of scouting's values, while denouncing all forms of racism, discrimination, inequality and injustice."

Bear Grylls, the UK's chief scout, said the movement should acknowledge the failings of its founder and said: "We also recognise that Baden-Powell is part of our history, and history is nothing if we do not learn from it."