The Horniman Museum has stated there are no plans to change its name, despite criticism from anti-racism activists over its founder’s "shameful" colonial history.

Topple the Racists, a Black Lives Matter supporting campaign, included the museum on its list of 60 landmarks that should be reviewed, due to tea magnate founder Frederick John Horniman's "shameful" colonial history.

The museum has clarified that Horniman did not own slaves or plantations, although the wealth upon which the collection was built derived from the exploitation of workers in the British Empire.

Nick Merriman, chief executive of the Horniman Museum and Gardens, said: “The Horniman Museum and Gardens is aware that we are included on this website, aimed at taking down public statues of slave owners and colonialists.

“We do not have any statues of this kind, and as far as we know (our research into the Horniman family business is ongoing) our founder Frederick Horniman did not own slaves or plantations – in fact he was born two years after the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833.

“We do, however, acknowledge the fact that the family wealth that enabled his collection and the creation of the museum was derived from the tea trade, which was reliant on the exploitation of people living in the British Empire.

“We also acknowledge the Victorian and colonial context in which Frederick Horniman and his staff collected and documented objects in our collections. .

“This context needs to be made clearer for today’s audiences. We have recognised this context on our website and will do the same within the Horniman family history section of our World Gallery.

“Like other anthropology collections, the Horniman holds human remains, including a shrunken head – a tsantsa from Ecuador, which was collected after Frederick Horniman’s death.

“We recognise the hurt caused by the storage of human remains and are currently doing a full survey of all human remains in our collection, and considering their return or more ethical treatment. 

“Ancestral remains from the Horniman were returned to Australia at the start of the 21st century, and we would be sympathetic to any request from other communities.

“We are also working with international partners and community members on a number of projects to ensure their cultural heritage is displayed and cared for respectfully and ethically, as well as working to diversify our programme, audiences and staff.

“There are no plans to change the name of the Horniman Museum and Gardens.”

Topple the Racists was inspired by the direct action of protestors in Bristol, who pulled down a statue of Edward Colston, a local figure who made his fortune in the slave trade 

A statue of slave owner Robert Milligan was removed from London's Docklands on Tuesday evening with local authority approval. 

Labour-led councils across England and Wales have agreed to work with their local communities to look at the "appropriateness" of certain monuments and statues on public land and council property.