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Cultural Heritage

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 111428, tabled on 4 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to protect the integrity of (a) contested heritage and (b) other aspects of the historic environment.

Answered on

11 November 2020

Government is committed to upholding the integrity of the historic environment, including through the statutory heritage protection and planning systems, and through the stewardship of its historic estate.

It does not propose to remove contested public statues or other similar objects on its property and does not support the removal of those owned by others. It believes that it is always legitimate to examine and debate Britain’s history, but removing contested elements of the historic environment is not the right approach.

Government has been clear that rather than erasing these objects, we should seek to contextualise or reinterpret them in a way that enables the public to learn about them in their entirety, however challenging this may be. Our aim should be to use them to educate people about all aspects of Britain’s complex past, both good and bad.