By Rachael Grealish
The infamous street artist Banksy has waded in on the argument concerning the destruction of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol.
Colston was a 17th and 18th century slave trader and a member of the Royal African Company – who is reportedly responsible for transporting over 80,000 men, women and children, almost 20,000 of whom died.
The bronze statue of the slave trader was brought down during the Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol, on June 7, and thrown into the dock where Colston’s trade ships would’ve docked.
The rumoured-to-be unknown Bristolian street artists posted a piece of artwork on his Instagram, claiming to have thought of a solution to the arguments whether the statue should go back up or stay removed.
He said: “What should we do with the empty plinth in the middle of Bristol.
“Here’s an idea that caters for both those who miss the Colston statue and those who don’t. We drag him out the water, out him back on the plinth, tie cable round his neck and commission some life size bronze statues of protesters in the act of pulling him down.
“Everyone happy. A famous day commemorated.”
The piece of artwork he left was almost a rudimentary example of what he describes in his statement – Colston being brought down by protesters.
The statue had caused controversy in Bristol for many years and many people aren’t unhappy to see it gone, although some are angry at the act.
In a statement the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, called the removal of the statue a ‘criminal act’.
The PM’s official spokesman said: “The PM’s view is that in this country, where there is strong opinion, there is a democratic process which should be followed.
“People can campaign for the removal of a statue but what happened yesterday was a criminal act and when the criminal law is broken that is unacceptable and the police will want to hold to account those responsible.
The spokesman added: “The PM absolutely understands the strength of feeling, but in this country we settle our differences democratically and if people wanted the removal of the statue there are democratic routes which can be followed.”
This isn’t the first time Banksy has spoken out about the Black Lives Matter protests, on June 6 he broke his silence leaving a rare statement, along with a strong piece of art, saying the issue is for white people to fix and ‘people of colour are being failed’.