A statue of the founder of the Scout movement, Robert Baden-Powell, will be given 24-hour protection after its removal has been delayed, even as protesters continue to insist monuments with racist connotations be taken down across the United Kingdom.
The statue of Baden-Powell — a British Army officer who critics say was a racist and Nazi sympathizer — has been labeled as a target for anti-racist protesters and police advised the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council to remove it.
The statue was scheduled to be taken down on Thursday, but Mark Howell, the council’s deputy leader, said there’s been a delay in the plan because the symbolism behind the statue is “deeper than originally envisaged,” according to reports by Sky News.
The statue, which is located on Poole Quay in Dorset, England, will be protected 24 hours a day “until it is either removed or the threat diminishes,” Howell said.
The Scouts was founded by Baden-Powell in 1908 as an educational movement for young people.
Some who are against the removal of his statue say he is an integral part of British culture and the Scout movement he founded garnered 54 million members worldwide.
However, against the backdrop of protesters across the world fighting against racial inequities, spurred by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, activists have said a symbol of someone who had racist views cannot be tolerated.
“Whilst famed for the creation of the Scouts, we also recognize that there are some aspects of Robert Baden-Powell’s life that are considered less worthy of commemoration,” council leader Vikki Slade said, according to reports by NBC News.
The Boy Scouts of America was inspired by the Boy Scouts Association established by Baden-Powell.