BRISTOL, England (AP) — Officials in the English city of Bristol on Thursday removed a statue of a Black Lives Matter activist that was installed on a plinth once occupied by a monument to a 17th-century slave trader.
Artist Marc Quinn created the resin and steel likeness of Jen Reid, a protester photographed standing on the plinth after demonstrators pulled down the statue of Edward Colston and dumped it in Bristol’s harbor on June 7.
It was erected before dawn on Wednesday without the approval of city authorities, but 24 hours later it was gone.
Bristol City Council said the sculpture “will be held at our museum for the artist to collect or donate to our collection.”
Colston was a trader who made a fortune transporting enslaved Africans across the Atlantic to the Americas on Bristol-based ships. His money funded schools and charities in Bristol, 120 miles (195 kilometers) southwest of London.
The toppling of his statue was part of a worldwide reckoning with racism and slavery sparked by the death of a Black American man, George Floyd, at the hands of police in Minneapolis in May.
City authorities fished the Colston statue out of the harbor and say it will be placed in a museum, along with placards from the Black Lives Matter demonstration.
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said the decision about what replaces it must be made by the people of Bristol.
“This is not about taking down a statue of Jen, who is a very impressive woman,” Rees told the BBC. “This is about taking down a statue of a London-based artist who came and put it up without permission.”
Lawless reported from London.
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