Monument to multiculturalism

If Marina Warner (The Back Half, 21 February) wants a work that signals a break with the past for the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square, I propose a statue of Olaudah Equiano. An ex-slave, his autobiography was published in 1789 and he was an important figure in the abolitionist movement.

The slave trade formed an important backdrop to the war against Napoleon. Parliament outlawed Britain's participation in the trade after Trafalgar. Nelson himself had strong ties with the West Indian slave plantations, including a creole mistress.

A statue of Equiano would acknowledge that past and serve as a powerful symbol of our commitment to a multicultural future.

Ferdinand Dennis
London N4

This article first appeared in the 28 February 2000 issue of the New Statesman, Why the party still needs its soul