THE HISTORIC statues which were removed from one of Dublin's most well-known hotels are to be returned to their plinths.
In July, the Shelbourne Hotel near St Stephen's Green in the city centre removed statues which depicted shackled women amid fears they were depicting slaves.
The four statues had stood on plinths outside the prestigious hotel for 153 years; two of Nubian princesses, and another two of female figures holding torches with manacles around their feet.
They were quietly removed from the property as protests erupted across the globe following the murder of George Floyd, and statues depicting slave traders in the UK and US were torn down by angry crowds.
Now however, the statues are set to be reinstated after a study commissioned by the hotel concluded the women depicted were not slaves.
Art historian Kyle Leyden, who conducted his own independent research into the statues, says he found proof that the women are an 'aristocratic representation' of Nubian and Egyptian princesses rather than shackled slaves.
"They were likely purchased as part of the 'Egyptian-mania' that made all things Egyptian fashionable in the 19th century and were likely seen as representations of luxury and wealth," Mr Leyden told RTÉ News.
The Shelbourne Hotel have said the statues are being cleaned and will be returned to the plinths once they are back to their 'former glory'.
The hotel will also implement a new addition to the statues in the form of a plaque, which will be installed on the plinths to explain the statues' background and history to the public.