Activist's Statue Only Lasts for 24 Hours

The city of Bristol removes 'A Surge of Power (Jen Reid)'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2020 11:17 AM CDT
Now Activist's Statue Is Taken Down, Too
Contractors remove the statue "A Surge of Power (Jen Reid)" 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.   (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)

First, a slave trader. Then a black activist. Now a pedestal in Bristol, England is empty again after the city took down the activist's statue on Thursday morning, Sky News reports. "This morning we removed the sculpture," the City Council said in a statement. "It will be held at our museum for the artist to collect or donate to our collection." The statue of Black Lives Matter protester Jen Reid was erected Wednesday, a little more than five weeks after protesters pulled down a statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston and threw it in the harbor. Now the city says artist Marc Quinn might have to repay the council for whatever it spent removing the work, which is titled A Surge of Power (Jen Reid).

"We welcome the provocation in many ways, but you also need to be an adult and take full responsibility for what you do," said Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees. "We need to make sure public services in Bristol do not pay the price for this." He added that whatever statue goes up next "must be decided by the people of Bristol" after much consultation and "tell our full history." But Quinn and Reid tell the Bristol Post that the work was never intended to stay up forever: "We didn't approach Marvin Rees or the council because it was about making an artwork which appears overnight and having a conversation," said Quinn. "This statue is only going to be there for a little bit—there should be a democratic process."
(More Black Lives Matter stories.)

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