Merely a day after the toppled slave trader statue in Bristol was replaced by artist Marc Quinn’s “A Surge of Power”, it was removed by the city administration.
Black Lives Matter protests emerged in June across the US after the racially-motivated killing of George Floyd. In Bristol, protestors toppled a 18-foot statue of a 17th century slave trader Edward Colston and threw it in the Bristol Harbour. After the act, which was met with cheers from citizens and city administration alike, prompted a discussion about who should replace the statue.
The answer was given by artist Marc Quinn, who installed a statue titled “A Surge of Power” on Tuesday night. The statue was modeler after a protestor Jane Reid, who was photographed standing atop the platform with her fist raised after the previous statue was toppled. The event made news on Wednesday, with huge support for the statue and the act (though some raised concerns over a white artist installing the replacement).
However, by Thursday, city officials had promptly removed the statue. According to mayor Marvin Rees, the statue was installed on the sole decision of the London-based artist, without any permission from the administration. The mayor also added that a more permanent solution is being considered by the administration. However, nothing has been announced so far by the administration.
The removal isn’t a shock to many, who were expecting something like this after the statue was installed without any permission. Even Quinn had said on Wednesday that the statue was not a permanent solution but merely a spark. Quin didn’t make a statement after the removal of the statue.