Alfred Escher wielded so much power and influence during his lifetime that he was nicknamed King Alfred I. An immense bronze statue of modern Switzerland’s founding father stands, fittingly, in front of Zurich’s main train station. Escher was a politician, but he was also an entrepreneur who founded the country’s railway network along with its leading university and the banking giant Credit Suisse.
The statue in Zurich has memorialised Escher for more than 100 years, but it may not be there much longer. A recently published study on Zurich’s involvement in slavery details problematic connections to Escher. The Escher dynasty owned a coffee plantation in Cuba with more than 80 slaves and Escher himself was involved in its sale.
The research was commissioned by the city of Zurich and joins a growing effort, accelerated by the death of George Floyd in the US and the Black Lives Matter protests in July, to re-examine the past and recognise the role that slavery and colonialism…
— to www.theguardian.com