THE statue of slave trader, Edward Colston, that was toppled in the Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol is now on public display.
THE statue of slave trader, Edward Colston, that was toppled in the Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol is now on public display. The bronze statue that is a memorial to the 17th-century slave trader was famously thrown into the harbour on June 7 2020, almost one year ago, during a Black Lives Matter contest in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in America.
The controversial statue has now gone on public display at the M Shed museum in Bristol, along with placards from the protest. In order to decide the future of the statue, residents have been asked to complete a survey, according to BBC News.
A public consultation is being led by the We Are Bristol History Commission to decide its long-term future.
Associate professor at the University of West England, Dr Shawn Sobers, said that the effects of the statue being toppled and thrown into the harbour “ricocheted” across the UK and around the world.
“We know this isn’t an isolated incident, we know that there are statues across the world that celebrate slavers,” Sobers said.
“At the same time, the anti-racist movement isn’t about statues. It’s trying to eradicate racism from society and bring equality where there’s racial disparity which cuts across economic divides.
“But statues are a symbol of how seriously our cities in Britain are actually taking these issues.”
Sobers said that having the statue on display is an opportunity to tell a “wider history” and encourages people to have conversations about it.
“We’re using this opportunity to find out what local people think because we have to live in this city together,” he added.
Bristol mayor Marvin Rees said: “The future of the statue must be decided by the people of Bristol and so I urge everyone to take the opportunity to share their views.”
The chair of the commission, Professor Tim Cole, said: “The display is not a comprehensive exhibition about Colston or transatlantic slavery in Bristol, but it is intended to be a departure point for continuing conversations about our shared history.”
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