Skip to content

Colston statue removed from Bristol harbour

The controversial statue was torn down last week amid Black Lives Matter protests in Bristol.

By Molly Pipe, Deputy News Editor

The controversial statue was torn down last week amid Black Lives Matter protests in Bristol.

The statue of the slave trader Edward Colston has been lifted out of Bristol Harbour after being pulled down by anti-racism protesters on 7 June.

It will now be moved to an unknown location with the eventual aim of being part of a museum collection.

The statue was lifted out around 5:00 AM this morning,11 June, with the council stating that the removal was necessary for the functioning of the working harbour.

The monument will be hosed down to remove mud, but the ropes and graffiti that were added to it will remain.

Roy Barnett of Bristol City Council said: 'We [will] preserve him as he was tipped into the dock, while the decision is made [of] how to move on from there'.

The council said that the removal from the working harbour was necessary

Colston's statue was taken down during a Black Lives Matter protest in central Bristol, which was part of an international movement sparked by the death of George Floyd in America.

The existence of the Edward Colston monument has long been a point of contention in Bristol.

The city gained much of its wealth through the slave trade, in which Colston played a key part. The 17th century trader is believed to have shipped 80,000 people from Africa to the Americas between 1672 and 1689.

The fall of Edward Colston's statue has led to national consideration of numerous other statues and monuments that commemorate hisrtorical figures associated with the slave trade.

On Tuesday, the statue of Robert Milligan was taken down from its plinth at West India Quay at the London Docklands.

Politician Henry Dundas' statue was similarly defaced in Edinburgh.

Ropes and graffiti will not be removed from the statue

Speculation Colston's statue was pulled down, multiple petitions have been launched arguing for what should happen next.

43,000 signatories have supported replacing the statue with one of Paul Stephenson, leader of the 1963 Bristol Bus Boycott, whilst others have petitioned for a memorial to the victims of the slave trade.

Yesterday, Bristol City Council announced plans to set up a new commission that will explore Bristol's history and determine whether other street names and monuments in the city should be changed.

Featured Image: Rufus Atkins

What next for the Colston statue? Tell us your thoughts @EpigramPaper