Black Lives Matter sculpture erected in UK town removed after 1 day

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A sculpture of a Black Lives Matter protester installed without authorization on the site where a monument to a 17th-century parliamentarian and slave trader was ripped down by protesters last month was taken down by the city after just one day, according to a report.

City workers carefully removed the statue of Jen Reid at dawn Thursday after it had been erected early Wednesday morning without the approval or knowledge of the city of Bristol in southwest England, the New York Times reported.

The artist, Marc Quinn, who created the resin and steelwork after seeing a photo of Reid holding her hand up near where the statue of Edward Colston had just been torn down, said in an interview he didn’t expect the statue to stay but had hoped it would be there long enough to start a conversation about why people are memorialized in statues.

“Whether it’s there for a day or a week or a month, it’s been there,” Reid said on Wednesday before it was taken down, according to The Guardian.

Contractors remove the statue "A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020" by artist Marc Quinn, which had been installed on the site of the fallen statue of the slave trader Edward Colston, in Bristol, England, Thursday, July 16, 2020. The sculpture of protester Jen Reid was installed without the knowledge or consent of Bristol City Council and was removed by the council 24 hours later. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)

Contractors remove the statue “A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020” by artist Marc Quinn, which had been installed on the site of the fallen statue of the slave trader Edward Colston, in Bristol, England, Thursday, July 16, 2020. The sculpture of protester Jen Reid was installed without the knowledge or consent of Bristol City Council and was removed by the council 24 hours later. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)

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“This is not about taking down a statue of Jen, who is a very impressive woman,” Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees told the BBC, according to The Guardian. “This is about taking down a statue of a London-based artist who came and put it up without permission.”

A city council spokesperson said after removal the Reid statue would be held at the city’s museum to either be collected by the artist or donated.

The BBC reported Quinn will be charged with the cost of the statue’s removal and Reid and Quinn have said the proceeds from a sale of the statue would go to support Black history education in schools, according to The Guardian.

Rees said the fate of the statue would be up to the people of Bristol, The Times reported.

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The statue of Colston was removed from the nearby harbor by city workers after it was dumped there by protesters and will be placed in a museum, city officials said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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