Two French academics have launched a petition to remove a parliament mural commemorating the abolition of slavery, which they said was a racist, humiliating and dehumanising depiction of black people.
Mame-Fatou Niang, associate professor of French at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and Julien Suaudeau, who lectures in Pennsylvania, said the vast mural which has hung in a corridor of a building at France’s National Assembly for 28 years should be taken down. It was created in 1991 by French artist Hervé di Rosa to commemorate France’s first abolition of slavery in 1794.
“Its presence – in complete indifference – at the heart of one the highest sites of the Republic adds insult to injury,” the academics wrote in an open letter in L’Obs magazine. “It is historically unacceptable and politically incomprehensible. We demand the removal of this wall of shame.”