Black Lives Matter sculpture replacing Edward Colston statue removed by Bristol council

Images showing the removal of the Black Lives Matter statue in Brisol
The Black Lives Matter statue has been taken down at the request of Bristol City Council (Picture: Getty Images/ PA)

A Black Lives Matter statue erected in Bristol to replace the figure of slave trader Edward Colston has been removed at the council’s request.

The ‘A Surge of Power’ sculpture, created by artist Marc Quinn, shows activist Jen Reid standing on the plinth with her arm raised in the Black Power salute and was inspired by her participation in the June 7 protests.

It was put up in the city during the early hours of Wednesday morning without the knowledge or consent of Bristol City Council.

Workers were then pictured dismantling the statue around 5.20am today. The council said it has now been moved to the city’s museum.

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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. A statue of slave trader Edward Colston was pulled down and thrown into Bristol Harbour during Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the death of an African American man, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police in the United States of America. The Mayor of Bristol has since announced the setting up of a commission of historians and academics to reassess Bristol's landmarks and buildings that feature the name of Colston and others who made fortunes in trades linked to slavery. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
It was erected in the city on Wednesday (Picture: Getty Images)
Contractors use a grab arm to hoist A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020, by prominent British sculptor Marc Quinn, which has been installed in Bristol on the site of the fallen statue of the slave trader Edward Colston, from the plinth as they remove it and load it into into a recycling and skip hire lorry. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 16, 2020. See PA story ARTS Colston. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
The council says it is now in a museum for the artist to either ‘collect or donate’ (Picture: PA)

A spokesperson said: ‘It will be held at our museum for the artist to collect or donate to our collection.’

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On Wednesday, Bristol mayor Marvin Rees acknowledged that the statue had been ‘put up without permission’, but said he understood that ‘people want expression’ within the city.

He added: ‘Anything put on the plinth outside of the process we’ve put in place will have to be removed.’

Mr Quinn previously said he intended his artwork to be a temporary installation to ensure conversations about racism continued to take centre stage.

A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020, by prominent British sculptor Marc Quinn, which has been installed in Bristol on the site of the fallen statue of the slave trader Edward Colston, is removed from the plinth and loaded into a recycling and skip hire lorry. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 16, 2020. See PA story ARTS Colston. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
The figure shows activist Jen Reid standing on the plinth with her arm raised(Picture: PA)
A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020, by prominent British sculptor Marc Quinn, which has been installed in Bristol on the site of the fallen statue of the slave trader Edward Colston, is removed from the plinth and loaded into a recycling and skip hire lorry by contractors. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 16, 2020. See PA story ARTS Colston. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
It was placed on the plinth without permission (Picture: PA)

The plinth has remained empty ever since protesters toppled the Edward Colston statue, before dragging it to the harbour and pushing it into the water. The figure has since been retrieved and taken to the city’s museum.

Ms Reid then climbed on the empty plinth amid the demonstration and her husband took a photo of her. Mr Quinn then contacted him on social media and asked Ms Reid to collaborate on making his sculpture.

The artist photographed Ms Reid using hundreds of cameras, which went into a 3D print and created a mould of her.

Mr Quinn told The Guardian: ‘Jen created the sculpture when she stood on the plinth and raised her arm in the air. Now we’re crystallising it.’

Contractors in Bristol remove the statue of Black Lives Matter campaigner Jen Reid which was placed without authorisation on the empty plinth vacated by Edward Colston, July 16 2020. Celebrated artist Marc Quinn had erected the statue of the black woman with a raised fist just 24 hours before
Ms Reid said her decision to do the Black Power salute was ‘totally spontaneous’ (Picture: Tom Wren / SWNS)

Describing her involvement in the protests, Ms Reid told the BBC she had felt an ‘overwhelming impulse’ to climb on to the plinth as it stood empty. She went on: ‘When I was stood there on the plinth, and raised my arm in a Black Power salute, it was totally spontaneous.

‘I didn’t even think about it. It was like an electrical charge of power was running through me. This sculpture is about making a stand for my mother, for my daughter, for black people like me.’

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Bristol – Metro