Black Lives Matter statue which replaced slave trader in Bristol is removed
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Black Lives Matter statue which replaced slave trader in Bristol is removed

THE STATUE of a Black Lives Matter protester which was erected in Bristol yesterday has been removed.

The statue, which depicts BLM protester Jen Reid and is titled 'A Surge of Power', was put up shortly before 5am on Wednesday morning by artist Marc Quinn and a team of activists without the knowledge of Bristol City council.

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JULY 15: A new sculpture, by local artist Marc Quinn, of Black Lives Matter protestor Jen Reid stands on the plinth where the Edward Colston statue used to stand on July 15, 2020 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

It replaced the statue of slave trader Edward Colston, which had been torn down and thrown into the river during anti-racism protests in June, sparked by the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer in the US.

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The statue of Colston was removed from the river and will be placed in a museum.

Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, the statue's subject Jen Reid said she hoped the new sculpture would "continue to conversation".

"I can't see it coming down in a hurry."

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JULY 15: Black Lives Matter protestor Jen Reid poses for a photograph in front of a sculpture of herself, by local artist Marc Quinn, on the plinth where the Edward Colston statue used to stand on July 15, 2020 in Bristol, England. 

However, Bristol City Council acted quickly to remove it, and it was taken down at around 5am this morning, just 24 hours after it had been erected.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, had previously said that any decision on how the now-empty plinth where Edward Colston once stood should be used would be decided democratically through consultation.

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In a statement, Bristol City Council confirmed the Black Lives Matter sculpture had been removed.

"This morning we removed the sculpture," a spokesperson wrote on Twitter.

"It will be held at our museum for the artist to collect or donate to our collection.

"Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees issued a statement yesterday about the need for a democratic process where the people of Bristol decide the future of the plinth."

The decision to remove the sculpture has proved controversial, with some in favour of it remaining and others arguing that removing it was the right thing to do as it was placed there illegally.

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