'A surge of power': BLM protester's sculpture replaces slave trader Edward Colston

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Jul 15, 2020, 06:41 PM IST
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"This is going to continue the conversation. I can't see it coming down in a hurry," she said.

The statue of slave trader Edward Colston that was toppled last month has been replaced with a sculpture of the black woman who helped it to pull down. The sculpture was erected on Wednesday without permission and titled "A Surge of Power".  

Jen Ried during Black Lives Matter protests in Bristol. (@LeftWingSociety/Twiiter) 

The black woman belongs to the "Black Lives Matter" (BLM) protester Jen Reid. A photo made rounds on the internet where she was seen with her fist raised, occupying the plinth where the Edward Colston stood before crowds threw it into Bristol harbour in southwest England.


The sculpture was created by artist Marc Quinn and was erected without the knowledge of Bristol City Council. Reid attended the unveiling and told The Guardian newspaper that it was "just incredible".

"This is going to continue the conversation. I can't see it coming down in a hurry," she said.


Previously, a local authority had said that decision to replace the Colston statue would be taken locally, this view reinforced by Bristol mayor Marvin Rees on Wednesday.

In a statement, he said: "The sculpture that has been installed today was the work and decision of a London-based artist. It was not requested and permission was not given for it to be installed."

"The future of the plinth and what is installed on it must be decided by the people of Bristol."

According to the council, a commission will be set up to study and discover the "true history" of Bristol as it was one of the cities in the UK to be involved with the slave trade during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Colston's statue was erected in 1895 until its toppling during the Black Lives Matters protests after an African American George Floyd was killed by police in the US state of Minnesota in May.