Who is Jen Reid and what happened to the Black Lives Matter statue in Bristol?

A BLACK Lives Matter statue that was erected on the plinth where Edward Colston's figure stood has been taken down.

The statue was erected in secret on the morning of July 15. But who was the statue of and what happened to it? Here is everything we know…

What was the new Black Lives Matter statue in Bristol?

The toppled statue of slave owner Edward Colston was replaced by a sculpture of a Black Lives Matter activist in Bristol on July 15, 2020.

Artist Marc Quinn created the black and resin steel structure of a Black Lives Matter protester.

A team of 10 people, directed by the artist, erected the figure of the black woman at 5 am.

Two lorry loads of activists arrived in Bristol to raise the statue, using a hydraulic crane truck – before council officials could intervene.

A cardboard sign reading "Black Lives Still Matter" was placed at the bottom of the plinth.

Who is Jen Reid?

Jen Reid is a stylist who attended the original Black Lives Matter march where the Colston statue was toppled.

During the march, Ms Reid was photographed on the empty plinth after the Colston statue was toppled.

Artist Marc Quinn said he had "crystallised" the moment Reid stood on top of the empty plinth on 7 June and raised her fist aloft in a black power salute.

On the morning it was erected Ms Reid stood in front of the “absolutely beautiful” statue, fist raised, telling the Guardian: “I’d better get a picture before they take it down.

"This is going to continue the conversation."

Did it replace the Edward Colston statue?

Not officially.

The statue was erected by artists but it remains unofficial.

Why did Bristol council remove the statue?

Bristol council removed the statue as it was put up without their permission.

Bristol mayor, Marvin Rees, tweeted on July 15: "I understand people want expression, but the statue has been put up without permission.

"Anything put on the plinth outside of the process we've put in place will have to be removed."

A Bristol City Council spokeswoman said: "This morning we removed the sculpture.

"It will be held at our museum for the artist to collect or donate to our collection."  

Pictures from the scene in Bristol showed workers at the site at around 5:20 am.

Council workers used ropes to secure the statue of Jen Reid before removing it and loading it into a recycling and skip hire lorry.

Why was Edward Colston's statue torn down?

The Edward Colston statue was pulled down by protesters in June – however, Bristol City Council is yet to decide what will officially replace it.

It was dragged to the harbourside, where it was thrown into the water at Pero's Bridge – named in honour of enslaved man Pero Jones who lived and died in the city.

Bristol City Council retrieved the statue, which will be displayed in a museum along with placards from the Black Lives Matter protest, from the water on June 11.

Colston worked for the Royal African Company in the 17th century and was later a Tory MP in Bristol.

The statue of him by sculptor John Cassidy was erected in 1895.

Source: Read Full Article