Edward Colston Statue to be Lastingly Installed in Bristol Museum

Edward Colston Statue, Who Was a Slave Trader, Could be Permanently Installed in Bristol Museum, Data Shows.

Feb 14, 2024By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Edward Colston Statue
The statue is on display at the M Shed. Via Wikipedia


Edward Colston statue’s new home could be the M Shed, a history-focused institution in the city. In 2020, Black Lives Matter demonstrators knocked down this 18th-century monument. The sculpture is out of public view since January 2022. But, we will finally know its ultimate fate – a plan for exhibiting it permanently at a museum is getting closer to clearance.


Edward Colston Statue Simbolically Sunk



The mayor of Bristol spoke about events in his statement. “I remain in support of the view that the best place for the statue is in a museum where its context, and that of what it represents to many communities can be appropriately shared with diverse audiences”. The monument and platform are each Grade II classified. In England, this denotes historical significance. Also, it guarantees specific safeguards.


On February 21, the planning control committee of Bristol City Council will likely cast its vote, regarding the statue’s removal. The goal is to detach it from its base. The plan called for the plinth to stay on Colston Avenue. It will also ultimately obtain a fresh plaque. A group of demonstrators in Bristol, England, removed the statue off its pedestal in June 2020. They also rolled it into a nearby harbor.


The empty pedestal, showing placards and graffiti. Via Wikipedia


Protesters vandalised the statue because of Colston’s connection to the Royal African Company, a key player in the British slave trade. In addition, slaves from Africa were cast ashore in the harbour where the monument got sunk. Pictures of the collapse went viral. Also, the statue quickly came to represent the controversy about whether or not public monuments honouring historical personalities associated with slavery and colonisation should be displayed.

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Reinstatement at the Harbor is “Not a Reasonable Expectation”

Protestors moments after toppling the statue. Via Wikipedia


After recovering it from the sea, the Colston statue caused controversy in Bristol regarding whether it should be moved out of sight or put back on its pedestal. In a council report, the Bristol City Council Conservation Committee deemed that the statue’s reinstatement at the harbor was “not a reasonable expectation” as it was a potential target of “civil unrest”. The statue was put on display at the M Shed museum as the Bristol City Council looked for a long-term solution.


There, the monument ended up on its side. It also came with a history explaining the events leading up to its vandalism. Eighty percent of Bristolites agreed that the statue should be on exhibit in a museum, according to a citywide survey done by the We Are Bristol History Commission.




Professor Tim Cole, the chair of We Are Bristol History Commission, and an author of the report said in a statement that the project required they “gather many diverse opinions and views that truly demonstrated the complexity of the feelings associated with the statue. Also, the many strands of context associated with it”. The statue will make its premiere in a new exhibition honouring the history of citizen protests in the area. This is only if the application gets approved.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.