Banksy suggests replacement for toppled statue of Bristol slave trader Edward Colston

‘Here’s an idea that caters for both those who miss the Colston statue and those who don’t’

Louis Chilton
Tuesday 09 June 2020 13:54 BST
Starmer: Edward Colston statue should've been properly taken down a long time ago

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Enigmatic street artist Banksy has posted an Instagram message about the statue of 17th-century slave owner Edward Colston in Bristol that was taken down by Black Lives Matter protesters last weekend.

On Sunday (7 June), the statue that has long stood in Bristol city centre was removed from its plinth and rolled into the harbour.

Banksy, who hails from Bristol, wrote: “What should we do with the empty plinth in the middle of Bristol?”

“Here’s an idea that caters for both those who miss the Colston statue and those who don’t. We drag him out the water, put him back on the plinth, tie cable round his neck and commission some life size bronze statues of protestors in the act of pulling him down.

They added: ”Everyone happy. A famous day commemorated.”

People have reacted enthusiastically to the suggestion in the comment section underneath Banksy’s post.

“Not a bad idea Banksy,” wrote one commenter.

Less than an hour after being posted, Banksy’s message had received more than 500,000 likes on the social networking site.

Edward Colston’s company transported more than 100,000 slaves from west Africa to the Caribbean and American continent between 1672 and 1689; more than 20,000 died during the journeys, as a result of unhygienic conditions, malnourishment and dysentery.

The protests that led to the statue’s removal began as a response to the death of George Floyd while being apprehended by Minneapolis police.

Banksy posted a piece of artwork about Floyd’s death, and said that “people of colour are being failed by the system – the white system”.

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