Slave trader statue recovered from Bristol Harbour

The statue of slave trader Edward Colston, torn down by protesters, has been recovered from Bristol Harbour.

The bronze has been removed to a “secure location” by the city council.

The recovery operation came a day after it was announced the statue would be displayed in a museum along with placards scattered around the empty plinth.

Bristol City Council wants the museum to tell the “the 300-year-old story of slavery through to today’s fight for racial equality can be learnt about”.

Mayor Marvin Rees

Mayor Marvin Rees added:

“The events over the last few days have really highlighted that as a city we all have very different understandings of our past.

“The only way we can work together on our future is by learning the truth of our beginnings, embracing the facts, and sharing those stories with others.

“This is why this commission is so important.”

Colston’s statue was erected in 1895.

The local merchant made a fortune in the 1600s working for the Royal Africa Company transporting slaves from West Africa to the West Indies and America.

Over the past years there has been disquiet about its prominence in Bristol.

Petitioners asked for it to be taken down.

Last Sunday protesters took matters into their own hands and toppled the statue – dragging it to the quayside.

Video: Bristol City Council

About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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