“This is not about taking down a statue of Jen, who is a very impressive woman,” said Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees. “This is about taking down a statue of a London-based artist who came and put it up without permission.”
Colston’s sculpture had been unbolted and thrown into the river in early June during demonstrations by the Black Lives Matter movement following the death in late May of George Floyd, a black American killed by a policeman.
The protests had been accompanied by a series of statues of public figures being defaced on the grounds of their involvement in the slave trade or racist statements.
Edward Colston got rich in the slave trade. He is said to have sold 100,000 West African slaves in the Caribbean and the Americas between 1672 and 1689, before using his fortune to finance the development of Bristol, which long earned him a reputation as a philanthropist.