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Statue of Black Lives Matter protester removed in Britain

Protester Jen Reid with a raised fist poses in front of a depiction of herself, the statue A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) by British artist Marc Quinn, which was removed on Wednesday. Photo by Neil Hall/EPA-EFE
Protester Jen Reid with a raised fist poses in front of a depiction of herself, the statue "A Surge of Power (Jen Reid)" by British artist Marc Quinn, which was removed on Wednesday. Photo by Neil Hall/EPA-EFE

July 16 (UPI) -- Workers in Bristol, England, removed a statue of a Black Lives Matter protester Thursday, one day after it was erected on the spot where a monument to a slave trader once stood.

Witnesses took videos of contractors using ropes and a crane to remove the statue of protester Jen Reid after it was placed where a statue of 17th-century lawmaker Edward Colston had stood for 125 years.

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"This morning we removed the sculpture. It will be held at our museum for the artist to collect or donate to our collection," a Bristol city council spokeswoman said.

Artist Marc Quinn placed the statue of Reid in the area after being inspired by a viral photo of her standing with her fist raised on top of the base where Colston's statue stood before being toppled and thrown into a harbor by protesters.

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"I'd first like to thank Jen for collaborating with me on A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020 at every point in the process of making this new temporary public artwork," Quinn wrote in an Instagram post on Wednesday. "The sculpture's title comes from Jen's powerful description of her experience of standing on the plinth."

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Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees explained the city's decision to remove the statue, saying "the people of Bristol decide the future of the plinth," where the statue of Colston previously stood.

"We aren't taking down a statue of a Black Lives Matter protester, we're taking down the work of an artist who erected it without permission," he said.

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