Council leaders in Hartlepool have decided a plaque must be placed on its famous monkey statue to explain its origins in case people are offended by it following the Black Lives Matter protests and scrutiny over statues, sky news reported. BLM
The statue, at the town’s marina, was placed there to represent a tale about a monkey which was mistaken for a French spy in the Napoleonic War and subsequently hanged.
Legend states that the animal was the only survivor of a shipwreck off the northeast coast of England and because the villagers had never seen a monkey before, they mistook it for a Frenchman and convicted it of being a spy. BLM
The story has been the subject of songs, plays and books and the town’s football club mascot is a monkey called H’Angus.
There is a lot of debate about whether the event really happened. The first official telling of the story was thought to be in a song performed in 1855.
Sky news, citing the Daily Telegraph, reported that a sign will be placed on the monument following conclusions in a report from June 2020 that it could be “misused by those with differing agendas to portray Hartlepool as unfriendly towards foreigners”. BLM