iN PHOTOS: Statue of Black protester replaces toppled UK slave trader - InfoNews

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iN PHOTOS: Statue of Black protester replaces toppled UK slave trader

Jen Reid poses for photographs in front of the new black resin and steel statue portraying her, entitled "A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020" by artist Marc Quinn after the statue was put up this morning on the empty plinth of the toppled statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston, which was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol, England, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. On June 7 anti-racism demonstrators pulled the 18-foot (5.5 meter) bronze likeness of Colston down, dragged it to the nearby harbor and dumped it in the River Avon — sparking both delight and dismay in Britain and beyond.
Image Credit: (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
July 15, 2020 - 9:32 AM

LONDON - An artist has erected a statue of a Black Lives Matter protester atop the plinth in the English city of Bristol formerly occupied by a statue of a slave trader.

Marc Quinn created the life-size 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 harbour on June 7.

The statue, titled “A Surge of Power (Jen Reid)” was erected before dawn on Wednesday without approval from city officials.

People use their phones to document a new black resin and steel statue entitled
People use their phones to document a new black resin and steel statue entitled "A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020" by artist Marc Quinn after it was put up this morning on the empty plinth of the toppled statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston, which was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol, England, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. On June 7 anti-racism demonstrators pulled the 18-foot (5.5 meter) bronze likeness of Colston down, dragged it to the nearby harbor and dumped it in the River Avon — sparking both delight and dismay in Britain and beyond.
Image Credit: (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Reid, who came to inspect her likeness, said “it's something that fills me with pride.”

“I think it’s amazing," she said. "It looks like it belongs there. It looks like it’s been there forever."

Colston was a 17th-century 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 kilometres) southwest of London.

A new black resin and steel statue entitled
A new black resin and steel statue entitled "A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020" by artist Marc Quinn stands after the statue was put up this morning on the empty plinth of the toppled statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston, which was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol, England, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. On June 7 anti-racism demonstrators pulled the 18-foot (5.5 meter) bronze likeness of Colston down, dragged it to the nearby harbor and dumped it in the River Avon — sparking both delight and dismay in Britain and beyond.
Image Credit: (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

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.

Quinn, one of Britain’s best-known sculptors, said Reid had “created the sculpture when she stood on the plinth and raised her arm in the air. Now we’re crystallizing it.”

City authorities fished the Colston statue out of the harbour and say it will be placed in a museum, along with placards from the Black Lives Matter demonstration.

People look at a new black resin and steel statue entitled
People look at a new black resin and steel statue entitled "A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020" by artist Marc Quinn after it was put up this morning on the empty plinth of the toppled statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston, which was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol, England, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. On June 7 anti-racism demonstrators pulled the 18-foot (5.5 meter) bronze likeness of Colston down, dragged it to the nearby harbor and dumped it in the River Avon — sparking both delight and dismay in Britain and beyond.
Image Credit: (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees cast doubt on whether the new statue would be allowed to stay, noting that it “was the work and decision of a London-based artist.”

“The future of the plinth and what is installed on it must be decided by the people of Bristol,” he said in a statement.

“This will be critical to building a city that is home to those who are elated at the statue being pulled down, those who sympathize with its removal but are dismayed at how it happened and those who feel that in its removal, they’ve lost a piece of the Bristol they know, and therefore themselves.”

A new black resin and steel statue entitled
A new black resin and steel statue entitled "A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020" by artist Marc Quinn stands after the statue was put up this morning on the empty plinth of the toppled statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston, which was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol, England, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. On June 7 anti-racism demonstrators pulled the 18-foot (5.5 meter) bronze likeness of Colston down, dragged it to the nearby harbor and dumped it in the River Avon — sparking both delight and dismay in Britain and beyond.
Image Credit: (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

People look at a new black resin and steel statue entitled
People look at a new black resin and steel statue entitled "A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020" by artist Marc Quinn after it was put up this morning on the empty plinth of the toppled statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston, which was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol, England, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. On June 7 anti-racism demonstrators pulled the 18-foot (5.5 meter) bronze likeness of Colston down, dragged it to the nearby harbor and dumped it in the River Avon — sparking both delight and dismay in Britain and beyond.
Image Credit: (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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