MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Activists from the independence-minded RVN movement in the overseas French territory of Martinique have toppled and decapitated a statue of Napoleon’s wife Josephine, the France Antilles news website said.
The likeness of Empress Josephine, born on the Caribbean island in the 18th century, was torn down from its base and crushed with sledgehammers, as seen in a photo published by the France Antilles news website.
RVN, which stands for “Red, Green, Black” after the colours of the island’s unofficial flag, acted on their threat to demolish the statue in the main city of Fort-de-France after giving Mayor Didier Laguerre until Sunday to remove it.
Videos of the moment have been published on social media networks.
Les statues de l’impératrice Joséphine de Beauharnais et du colon Pierre Belain d’Esnambuc sur la Savane à Fort-de-France ont été déboulonnées, ce dimanche 26 juillet. Les activistes avaient donné cette date comme date butoir pour les retirer. #Martinique #colonisation pic.twitter.com/kHoeD0sS17
— Cerveaux non disponibles (@CerveauxNon) July 26, 2020
La statue de Joséphine de Beauharnais a été détruite ce dimanche en Martinique.
Le préfet, Stanislas Cazelles, qui avait eu vent des menaces de ce groupuscule, n’a rien fait pour la faire protéger. pic.twitter.com/gckjDKcYoF
— Histoire De France (@histoirefrance2) July 27, 2020
The demonstrators also brought down a statue to Pierre Belain d’Esnambuc, who claimed Martinique for France and established the first French town on the island in 1635.
A brief history of Martinique in three destroyed statues
I. A few days ago, the mayor of Fort-de-France, capital of the French Caribbean island of Martinique, announced that the statue of Pierre Belain d’Esnambuc would be dismantled. Esnambuc is the local Columbus pic.twitter.com/omJjJ6QjJa
— Arthur Asseraf⚡️🍊 (@ArthurAsseraf) July 26, 2020
Dozens of monuments to prominent historical figures associated with slavery have been defaced or demolished in the United States and Europe in recent weeks after the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following the in-custody death of a black African American.