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Western Australia strips King Leopold of mountain range honour

The provincial government of Western Australia has renamed an entire mountain range formerly named after Leopold II, King of Belgians.  The Belgian stands accused of atrocities in Congo during the colonial era.  The former Leopold Range will now be called Wunaamin-Miliwundi.

The Australian explorer named the range after Leopold II, King of Belgians, in 1879.  He motivated his choice as recognition of the Belgian’s “great interest in expeditions”.  Mr Forrest worked as a surveyor and named several mountain ranges after European monarchs of his time.

This is the first time most people in Belgium hear that an entire mountain range was named after the controversial monarch.  The provincial government decided to ditch the name given Leopold’s reputation as “a tyrant, who slaughtered many Africans”. The new name was chosen in consultation with Australian first nations.

 

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