By Amechi Idumuebor (AGENDAWATCHDOG) — An artist has erected a statue of a Black Lives Matter protester atop the plinth in the English city of Bristol formerly occupied by a statue of a slave trader. Marc Quinn created the life-size resin and steel likeness of Jen Reid, a protester photographed standing on the plinth after demonstrators pulled down the statue of Edward Colston and dumped it in Bristol’s harbor on June 7.
The statue, titled “A Surge of Power (Jen Reid)” was erected before dawn on Wednesday without approval from city officials. Reid, who came to inspect her likeness, said “it’s something that fills me with pride.”
“I think it’s amazing,” she said. “It looks like it belongs there. It looks like it’s been there forever.” Quinn, one of Britain’s best-known sculptors, said Reid had “created the sculpture when she stood on the plinth and raised her arm in the air. Now we’re crystallizing it.”
Colston was a 17th-century trader who made a fortune transporting enslaved Africans across the Atlantic to the Americas on Bristol-based ships. His money funded schools and charities in Bristol, 120 miles (195 kilometers) southwest of London.The toppling of his statue was part of a worldwide reckoning with racism and slavery sparked by the death of a Black American man, George Floyd, at the hands of police in Minneapolis in May.