It all started when vandals tore down a statue of a prominent historical figure and dumped it in Bristol Harbour last month. Now, a statue commemorating those protesters has been erected in its place.
Because nothing says courage quite like destroying public property that honors a 350-year-old dead guy.
The original monument to Edward Colston was ripped down by vandals in June and thrown in the harbor. Colston, an English merchant and philanthropist in the late 1600s, was instrumental in helping establish and further British trade with Spain, Portugal, Italy, Africa and the colonies in North America. He also helped fund multiple schools and charities across England.
Oh, and he also traded slaves, as many back in that day did. Which, of course, earned him the ire of protesters living in 2020 who, despite being completely unaffected by Colston’s business practices over 300 years ago, decided his likeness had to go.
Now, artist and sculptor Marc Quinn has created a new statue, this one depicting a black protester named Jen Reid. He’s calling it “A Surge of Power.”
A new statue has been placed on the plinth where the Edward Colston statue of once was.— BBC Radio Bristol (@bbcrb) July 15, 2020
“A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020” is based on a picture of Jen Reid a #BlackLivesMatter protester.
There’s been no formal consent for the statue to be there.
📸Getty Images #Bristol pic.twitter.com/j2SanTThI9
Quinn said Reid “created the sculpture when she stood on the plinth and raised her arm in the air. Now we’re crystallizing it.”
The statue was placed on the Colston statue's now-empty pedestal without approval from local officials, who've already fished the original monument out of the drink and said it will be placed in a museum.