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British conservationists work to restore acclaimed slavery painting

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David Crombie, Senior Paintings Conservator on the National Museums, Liverpool carries out restoration work on the painting ‘Am Not I A Man And A Brother’, considered one of solely 2 recognized work of its kind in existence in Liverpool, Britain, July 30, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) – Ahead of the annual remembrance day for the abolition of the slave commerce, artwork conservationists are working to restore a uncommon painting of a kneeling African slave to go on show within the British port metropolis of Liverpool.

Acquired by the International Slavery Museum in 2018, the “Am Not I A Man And A Brother’ painting depicts an enslaved African, kneeling, certain in chains and looking out to the sky.

It relies on a design commissioned by the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in 1787 and was utilized by the potter Josiah Wedgwood to marketing campaign in opposition to slavery, making it one of many first cases of a brand used for a political trigger.

“We’ve achieved fairly important conservation on the painting,” Laura Pye, director of National Museums Liverpool, instructed Reuters. “(The) conservation team has done an incredible job of cleaning it up. So I don’t think there’s anyone that’s seen the painting as it currently looks.”

August 23 is the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. The painting continues to be being restored and is due to go on show later this 12 months.

In the most important deportation in recognized historical past, weapons and gunpowder from Europe had been swapped for hundreds of thousands of African slaves who had been then shipped throughout the Atlantic to the Americas.

Millions of African males, girls and youngsters had been torn from their properties and shackled into one of many world’s most brutal globalized trades between the 15th and 19th centuries. Many died in cruel situations.

Those who survived endured a lifetime of subjugation on sugar, tobacco and cotton plantations. Britain abolished the trans-Atlantic slave commerce in 1807 though the total abolition of slavery didn’t observe for one more technology.

Reporting by Phil Noble; writing by Kate Holton; enhancing by Guy Faulconbridge, William Maclean


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