A sculpture of Black Lives Matter activist Jen Reid in Bristol was removed by City Council only 24 hours after it was installed. Created by artist Marc Quinn, the statue had stood in place of a bronze of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston that was toppled by demonstrators in June. The now-removed sculpture was based on a photograph of Reid standing on top of the monument’s empty plinth, her fist raised in the air, during a protest against police brutality.
Installed by Quinn and a team in the early hours of Wednesday, July 15, “A Surge of Power (Jen Reid)” (2020) was swiftly condemned by Mayor Marvin Rees, who said it was put up without city permission. After removing the sculpture this morning, Bristol City Council announced it would be held at the local museum “for the artist to collect or donate to [its] collection.” Mayor Rees said the people of Bristol should democratically decide what should replace the slave trader’s monument.
On his Instagram, Quinn re-posted a photo of artist Azza Gasim holding up her drawing of Reid where the activist’s sculpture used to be.
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