PM gifts photo of Edinburgh anti-slavery mural to Biden

PM gifts photo of Edinburgh anti-slavery mural to Biden

6/11/2021 6:30:00 PM

PM gifts photo of Edinburgh anti-slavery mural to Biden

A framed photograph of an Edinburgh mural of Frederick Douglass was among gifts exchanged by the leaders.

The image of Frederick Douglass was painted by Ross Blair and the photograph was taken by Melissa Highton - a UK-US dual national.Mr Blair told BBC Scotland he was surprised to receive a call from the Home Office a few weeks ago asking for permission to give the image to the president.

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The street artist said: "It's a great honour and a massive global platform."To think it could potentially be hanging on a wall in the White House is fantastic and very exciting. It is a great accolade and acknowledgement."image copyright

Getty Imagesimage captionThe gifts were exchanged when the prime minister and his wife met Mr Biden and the first lady ahead of the G7 summitThe Edinburgh-born artist, who paints under the name TrenchOne, created the piece using emulsion brush and spray paint. headtopics.com

"When the community asked me to paint this mural I had heard nothing of Frederick Douglass and was shocked to hear how important his part was in the abolition of slavery," Mr Blair said.Douglass was born into slavery in Maryland in 1818 but escaped to become a prominent abolitionist.

He toured the UK and Ireland in the 1840s as he campaigned against slavery.The prime minister's gift is a nod to the Black Lives Matter movement that has pushed race relations to the fore in both countries.Biden cited Douglass in a 2020 speech on race at a time when the country was confronting questions on contemporary and historical racial injustice sparked by the protest movement.

media captionWho was Frederick Douglass?First Lady Jill Biden was given a first edition of Daphne du Maurier's The Apple Tree during the meeting in Cornwall.Downing Street said the choice was to reflect Du Maurier's Cornish links - she lived in the county and drew inspiration for many of her works from the surroundings.

Carrie Johnson, who married the prime minister two weeks ago, received a leather tote bag made by military wives, and a presidential silk scarf.Mr Biden presented Mr Johnson, a keen cyclist, with a US-made bicycle and helmet. Read more: BBC News (UK) »

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bbcnews bbcPapers reuters Oh the Irony. How dare Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson attempt to espouse anti racist values. And it's good to see Ted Cruz also paying homage to Mr Douglass!!!

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