Edward Colston statue replaced with sculpture of BLM protester

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The statue of slave trader Edward Colston that was toppled during the Black Lives Matter protests in Bristol has been replaced with a sculpture of one of the activists.

Artist Marc Quinn created the black and resin steel piece of protester Jen Reid after he saw a photograph of her standing on the empty plinth and raising her fist after the Colston statue was removed.

The sculpture, entitled A Surge of Power (Jen Reid), was erected shortly before 5am this morning by Quinn’s team without the prior knowledge of Bristol City Council.

Mayor Marvin Rees has previously said any decision on how the plinth should be used would be decided democratically through consultation.

Mrs Reid said the new piece “helps keep the journey towards racial justice and equity moving.”

She added: “This sculpture is about making a stand for my mother, for my daughter, for black people like me. It’s about black children seeing it up there.

“It’s something to feel proud of, to have a sense of belonging, because we actually do belong here and we’re not going anywhere.”

The Colston statue was pulled from its place in the city centre on June 7 and rolled to the harbourside by protesters.

It was thrown in the water at Pero’s Bridge – named in honour of enslaved man Pero Jones who lived and died in the city.

Bristol City Council retrieved the statue on June 11 and said it would be displayed in a museum along with placards from the Black Lives Matter protest.

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