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Tattoo artist receives share of £ 12,000 funding to help ‘decolonize’ Welsh war hero

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Tattoo artist received a share of £ 12,000 of museum funding to ink people as part of a project to ‘decolonize’ a controversial portrait of colonial governor Sir Thomas Picton

Picton, a Welsh lieutenant general, is remembered as a war hero after being killed at the Battle of Waterloo, but his tough tenure as governor of Trinidad was reassessed following the Black Lives Matter protests.

The National Museums Wales has provided £ 12,000 in funding for a project to ‘reframe the colonial narrative’ about the governor, whose portrait is on display at the National Museum Cardiff, by hiring a tattoo artist to practice his craft.

Trinidadian tattoo artist Gesiye said she would offer tattoos as part of a “ritual, healing opportunity for black Trinidadians” as part of her award-winning project.

The National Museum of Wales announced the commission, also awarded to the Laku Neg art collective, as a project that “positively centers and celebrates black consciousness”.

Picton was governor of Trinidad in the 1790s and early 1800s, and was accused of executing slaves during his tenure.

He sparked controversy when he ordered the torture of 14-year-old Louisa Calderon, which led to his recall to London and a conviction, which was later overturned.