In the wake of the 2020, worldwide demonstrations for Black Lives Matter and against former colonisers and slave owners, the statues of Hans Egede in Nuuk and Copenhagen were splashed with paint. The word “DECOLONIZE” was also written on them.
In the ensuing debate, some argued that an oppressor’s statue should not remain in such a significant location. Others suggested that it could be moved to a museum or a specific statue park. However, in a local referendum, the people of Nuuk voted to keep the statue in its current location. Also, it should be noted, the statue was erected 100 years ago following a Greenlandic initiative. It was not placed in Nuuk by outsiders, but by the citizens of Nuuk. This has not deterred its detractors, though.
The wish for independence and the fight for Greenlandic values gained traction in the 1960s and 1970s. A rethinking of current values also occurred. It was argued that many societal values were imposed upon the Greenlandic population from the outside.
The fight for home rule, self-governance, and, eventually, independence is not a fight against Christianity. Still, Christianity did oppress original Inuit thinking and values. Hans Egede would therefore also become a symbol of oppression. Some believe that because he imposed new norms, he felt his values were superior to those of the indigenous people.