Colston Statue

The statue was errected by the Merchant Venturer’s in 1895 on Colston Avenue in the centre of Bristol. Bristolians have campaigned against the statue since the 1920.

There were several artistic interventions around the statue of Edward Colston in the centre of Bristol over the years. For example, a set of posters that appeared on the boards around its plinth on the night of November 9th 2016, bearing the epithets “human trafficker”, “kidnapper”, “murderer” and “slave trader”:

Around 2018 Bristol City Council promised to recontextualise the statue with a new plaque but due to interference from a Merchant Venturer the plaque never materialised.

On 7th June 2020 the statue was topppled, defaced and pushed into Bristol Harbour during a Black Lives Matter demonstration attended by over 10,000 people. 10 people were charged with criminal damage and 4 of them were tried in front of a jury and pleaded guilty but argued there actions were justified. On the 5th January 2022 the jury found them not guility by a majority of 11-1. The statue was displayed in the M-Shed and is now stored there.