June 15, 2020 - 15:50 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - French President Emmanuel Macron has said that fighting racism should not lead to a "hateful" re-writing of history, Yahoo News UK reports.
The French president delivered a televised public address from the Élysée Palace on Sunday, June 14 evening following worldwide Black Lives Matter protests.
Some protesters have targeted statues of historic figures associated with slavery or other past human rights abuses.
In Bristol a bronze memorial to slave trader Edward Colston was torn down as part of an anti-racism demonstration.
Similar protests have taken place across the world, and many authorities have removed controversial statues, but Macron told the French people he would not be following suit.
He said: “I will be very clear tonight, compatriots: the Republic won't erase any name from its history. It will forget none of its artworks, it won't take down statues.”
The public address marked the first time Macron has spoken on the issues since George Floyd’s death in the United States on May 25 unleashed protests around the world.
France has seen regular demonstrations in the past three weeks, with some descending from peaceful events into clashes between protesters and riot police.
Macron said that a person’s “address, name, color of skin” can reduce their chances at succeeding in French society, and called for a fight to ensure that everyone can “find their place” regardless of ethnic origin or religion.