Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Welsh Government to build monument celebrating conquest;

The Plans to create an iron ring sculpture at Flint Castle which have  have been described as "insulting to Wales".
The design, which the BBC claims is  said 
to represent the relationship between the medieval monarchies of Europe and the castles they built, 
However  it is clear as Izzy Evans at Nation Cymru points out 

The ‘Iron Ring’ is, of course, the collective name for the ring of castles built by Edward I in order to cement his hold on the lands he stole from the Welsh princes.
Flint was the first castle in this ring of power – a chain of fortresses designed to encircle the north Wales coast and oppress the Welsh.
Its construction began almost immediately after Edward I began the First Welsh War in 1277.
Can you imagine any other nation celebrating its own conquest? Its own government glorying in its subjugation?
  Plaid Cymru's North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd said it symbolises the oppression of Welsh people.

"The 'ring of steel' is the description given to the chain of castles across Wales that were built to conquer and subjugate Wales," he said.
"From a Welsh perspective, this is certainly not something to celebrate. It does not either reflect the many rich Welsh legends that could have been the source of a far more appropriate sculpture."

 In response, a Welsh Government spokeswoman said it recognises 

"that art divides opinions, encourages debate, and can be interpreted in many ways"."These plans are about investing in Flint, increasing visitor numbers and growing the local economy. The proposed sculpture would also provide a unique opportunity to promote Welsh steel, as well as tell powerful stories that continue to shape our lives today," 
No to Flint Castle's planned Iron Ring"We will continue t
o listen to a range of views on this important project as it evolves, and ensure that decisions over issues such as the words inscribed on the sculpture reflect local opinions and the complex and often difficult history of Wales."

But this is not about Artistic merit but about Historic symbolism and those involved should consider reading about the history of Wales especially the conquest. before making such decision. 

Would the Irish government consider building a statue of Cromwell outside Wexford?

Perhaps the telling thing about the project  is that it was unveiled 

 Economy Secretary Ken Skates, who unveiled the design, said: 

"In its prime, Flint Castle played a pivotal role in not only shaping the future of Wales but that of the UK and Europe."The iron ring sculpture is a perfect way of marking this significance while attracting more people to visit the site, bringing positive economic benefits to the area."

Is there a Minister  for the Arts or Heritage?

Maybe our AMs should all read a bit of Welsh History.

This looks like a purely  economic  attempt to attract tourism and   the symbolism that it represents doesn't matter  .

I  have no romantic view of the Welsh Kings or Princes after all  Castell y Bere  a Welsh castle near Llanfihangel-y-pennant in Gwynedd, was  Constructed by Llywelyn the Great in the 1220s, the stone castle was intended to maintain his authority over the local people as well as  to defend the south-west part of the princedom of Gwynedd.

But to "Celebrate" the conquest of Wales  by England seems to indicate we are happy that it happened.

I suppose you could argue that the Iron Ring could be a symbol of the pride that it rook such a massive effort to subdue us, but would any other Nation  in the world consider building a tourist attraction that symbolises  their subjugation by another?

You can sign the petition against the Iron Ring  (48884 so far) sculpture here.

1 comment:

  1. This statement from the campaigning group Yes Cymru sums things up very well " Edward's conquest and Ring of Steel brought in a period of apartheid in Wales. This is the #RingofShame. And take a look in the comments section on the letter Prince Llywelyn wrote pleading the Papacy in Canterbury to reign in Edward's rape, killing, treachery and deceit.

    A month later Edward tricked Llywelyn to a meeting, ambushed him, cut off his head and stuck it on a pike on the Tower of London with a 'crown' of ivy to mock him and the Welsh. Edward to Wales is what Cromwell is to Ireland; Israel to Palestinians; Putin to Ukrainians ... imperial Britain to Indian, Africans, Americans and aborigines and Maori".....nuff said!