There may be some artefacts (pottery, ornaments, metalwork) connected to the slave trade that are less problematic than Beckford’s statue, and that can be explained in situ. But a plaque is not sufficient to recontextualise the acts of a West Indian mass murderer. I would prefer that this statue be removed and placed in a London museum. My suggestion for the museum description is that it read:
“William Beckford inherited 3,000 enslaved Africans in Jamaica, whom he mercilessly exploited to accumulate great wealth in Britain. His enslaved Africans were victims of routine sexual violence, torture, bodily mutilation and mass murder. Today, we recognise slavery as a crime against humanity and an unresolved stain on the national consciousness. We display this statue not because we wish to honour Beckford, but as a reminder of how we as a nation have sanitised, obscured and neglected racial capitalism and racial terror as foundational narratives of our modern history.”
We get to put equally blunt notes on the Benin Bronzes? Noting that they were made from the manillas gained from selling their own countrymen into that slavery?