Statue Of Black Lives Matter Protester Placed On Edward Colston Plinth
The plinth in Bristol that was home to the statue of slave trader Edward Colston now exhibits the figure of a Black Lives Matter protester after it was placed there in a pre-dawn mission this morning.
The artist behind the new sculpture entitled 'A Surge of Power' was Marc Quinn, who said that he'd 'crystallised' the moment that one of the protesters, a woman called Jen Reid, stood atop the podium with her fist raised after the statue was torn down.
It appears as if the police and city authorities had no idea the statue was to be replaced, with accompanying photographer and filmmaker Hassan Akkad declaring the project a 'success' at shortly before 6am this morning.
Edward Colston worked for the Royal African Company during the 17th century before becoming a Conservative MP in Bristol. He is believed to have been responsible for the deaths of around 30,000 slaves shipped from Africa to the Americas.
While many venues and buildings have previously carried his name, the controversial statue was erected in 1895, 174 years after his death.
Although campaigners had been asking for the statue to be taken down by the government of the city for decades, the Black Lives Matter protesters tore it down and threw it into the harbour on 7 June.
The protesters had gathered to protest against the death of George Floyd while in the custody of officers of the Minneapolis Police Department.
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Quinn, who is known for a number of works immortalising protests surrounding police killings of black people, told The Guardian: "I've always felt it's part of my job to bring the world into art and art into the world.
"Jen created the sculpture when she stood on the plinth and raised her arm in the air. Now we're crystallising it."
Many people on social media are already calling for the resin statue to remain on the plinth indefinitely, despite the fact it was installed without the permission of the Bristolian authorities.
Quinn also added that he'd put the statue up there in such a way that makes it 'extremely difficult to move'.
Whether he means in a physical sense or in a figurative sense, it will certainly breathe new life into the ongoing debate about whether statues honouring people involved in both philanthropy and heinous acts such as slave trading should be allowed to stand.
Bristol's Mayor Marvin Rees has previously stated that any decision on what the plinth will be used for in future would be decided democratically and after a consultation.
He's spoken of taking a 'restorative route' to resolving the debate surrounding the statue.
Featured Image Credit: PA