BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (AP) -- Adm. Horatio Nelson lost the battle of
Trafalgar Square on Wednesday.
For 186 years, the British naval hero's statue has stood in the square
Barbados capital of Bridgetown, an island known as "Little England" for its
adherence to old British customs.
But in a symbolic break Wednesday, officials changed the name of Trafalgar
Square to National Heroes' Square and announced that Nelson's bronze,
life-size statue soon would be removed.
It will be replaced by one of Errol Walton Barrow, who led this Caribbean
nation descended mainly from African slaves to independence from Britain in
"It is not our understanding or contemplation that (the statue's) source
hereby diminished or that those who treasure his memory should lose faith or
heart," Arthur said at the renaming ceremony.
The statue in Bridgetown is older than London's towering Nelson monument.
It escaped removal after Barbados' independence, though a later
government turned it 180 degrees so that the admiral no longer looked down
on the square and Broad Street shopping district.
"This National Heroes Square is for our citizens and visitors, who should
aware that we own an indigenous culture of human achievement that stands
tall with the whole world," Arthur said.
It was the latest move by Arthur's government to eliminate the trappings
the former British empire. The government is considering replacing Queen
Elizabeth II as symbolic head of state and severing its ties to the British Privy
Council in London, which serves as the supreme court for several former
British colonies in the Caribbean.
Nelson led forces that defended British interests in the Caribbean during
colonial heyday of sugar plantations and slavery. He married the heiress to
West Indian fortune on the island of Nevis.
Nelson became a British national hero in 1805 when he defeated the French
and Spanish in a naval battle off Spain's Cape Trafalgar, saving Britain from
a planned French invasion.
Arthur has formed a committee to decide what to do with the statue, which
was designed by English sculptor Sir Richard Westmacott.
Copyright 1999 The Associated Press.