Activist Jen Reid poses with a raised fist in front of a new statue that appeared in Bristol, Britain, on Wednesday. A sculpture of former British lawmaker and known slave trader Edward Colston previously stood at the location. Photo by Neil Hall/EPA-EFE
July 15 (UPI) -- A statue of a 17th-century lawmaker and slave trader in Britain was secretly replaced Wednesday with one honoring a social activist.
Demonstrators in Bristol toppled a statue of Edward Colston last month amid global outcry that followed the death of George Floyd in the United States. Wednesday, a new sculpture of Black Lives Matter activist Jen Reid stood in its place.
Bristol is located about 100 miles west of downtown London.
The statue of Reid was created by British artist Marco Quinn, who said he was inspired by an image of the activist with a raised fist.
Quinn, who called the image "A Surge of Power," said he hopes his sculpture will be a permanent fixture.
"It is such a powerful image, of a moment I felt had to be materialized forever," he said. "I contacted Jen via social media to discuss the idea of the sculpture and she told me she wanted to collaborate."
It's unclear whether the new statue of Reid will remain in the location since it was placed there without approval from Bristol city councilors.
Colston was a Conservative Party British lawmaker in the 1600s who was known for trading slaves from West Africa. His statue was retrieved from a nearby harbor, but its unknown what will be done with it.
The Surrogate's Court building exterior remains vandalized while Occupy City Hall protests continue outside City Hall in New York City on June 30. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo