Banksy Reimagines Edward Colston’s Toppled Statue as a Slavery Memorial

Black Lives Matter protestors pushed the statue into a river

Edward Colston statue dumped into water in Bristol
The statue of Edward Colston being pushed into the river Avon.
Giulia Spadafora/NurPhoto via Getty Images

As statues of former slave owners come down around the world, some people have expressed concerns that we are losing a part of history.

Banksy has a rather brilliant, tongue-in-cheek solution.

The mysterious graffiti artist proposed that the recently toppled statue of Edward Colston, a 17th century slave trader, be put back up in Bristol, England … but also showcase the protestors who tore it down during a Black Lives Matter rally.

“What should we do with the empty plinth in the middle of Bristol?” Banksy asked on Instagram. “Here’s an idea that caters for both those who miss the Colston statue and those who don’t. We drag him out the water, put him back on the plinth, tie cable round his neck and commission some life size bronze statues of protestors in the act of pulling him down. Everyone happy. A famous day commemorated.”

Colston’s legacy most likely survived until now because of what he did just before he died — he bequeathed his wealth to various local charities.

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