Jen Reid statue removal ‘to be paid for by artist’

Statue of Jen ReidImage copyright PA Media
Image caption The sculpture appeared early on Wednesday where the statue of Edward Colston had been

An artist who installed a sculpture of a Black Lives Matter activist on the plinth where slave trader Edward Colston’s statue once stood has said he will pay for the cost of its removal.

Contractors took down the effigy of Jen Reid last Thursday, a day after it was illegally erected in central Bristol.

Bristol City Council previously said the cost would “run into thousands”.

Artist Marc Quinn said “costs incurred will be paid for” and profits from its sale would go to charity.

The resin figure of Ms Reid, called A Surge of Power, was created by the London-based artist, who said it was designed to be a temporary installation.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The sculpture of Jen Reid was taken away in a lorry last week

He said he was inspired by an image of Ms Reid standing on the plinth with her fist raised during the Black Lives Matter protest on 7 June, moments after Colston’s statue was torn down and dragged into the harbour.

Mr Quinn said: “We did not request permission for the installation. We believe that art in the public space has the power to accelerate conversations and we wanted to bring continued attention to the vital and pressing issue of racism.

“We respect the fact that the council has chosen to remove the sculpture, which was always meant to be temporary.

“We made clear we would be happy to arrange for it to be removed and now that the council has done so any costs it has incurred will be paid for.”

Image caption Bristol residents stopped to take photographs of the sculpture after it appeared last week

He added that any proceeds from the sculpture’s sale would be donated to two local charities chosen by Ms Reid.

“We intend to offer a maquette of the sculpture to the Bristol Museum,” he added.

The statue was taken down 24 hours after it was erected because the council said it did not have planning permission.

Last week Bristol’s mayor Marvin Rees asked Mr Quinn to contribute, saying the money came from front-line funds.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The statue of Edward Colston was pulled from its plinth last month and dragged into the harbour

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