Mayor of Bristol says statue of Edward Colston will be retrieved from harbour and exhibited in a museum

Credit: PA

The Mayor of Bristol says the statue of Edward Colston will be retrieved from the harbour and exhibited in one of the city's museums.

The slave trader's memorial was pulled down by protesters during a Black Lives Matter march on Sunday 7 June before being thrown into the water.

Marvin Rees also announced a commission to research the city's "true history".


Millions of people have watched the footage of protesters pulling down the bronze memorial and rolling it through the city centre before throwing it into the harbour.

Downing Street called the removal a "criminal act", while Home Secretary Priti Patel said it was "utterly disgraceful".

Credit: PA

Mr Rees says the "events over the last few days have really highlighted that as a city we all have very different understandings of our past".

“Bristol’s journey to become the modern city it is today includes a history of huge disparities of class, race and gender and the struggles for equality. Our history includes the growth of education, the struggles of workers for pay and working conditions, and Chartists and suffragettes campaigning for emancipation.

"Our story includes the impacts that wars, protests, slavery and freedom have had on our citizens. Crucial to our heritage has been the harbour and the docks, manufacturing and industry, research and innovation, transport, slum clearances, housing, modern gentrification and faith.

Education of our history has often been flawed. More accuracy of our city’s history which is accessible to all will help us understand each other, our differences, our contradictions and our complexities.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol
The statue will be displayed alongside Black Lives Matter placards from the recent protest. Credit: ITV West Country

The statue will be displayed alongside Black Lives Matter placards from the recent protest.

The council says it has received many ideas for what should go on the remaining plinth, including another statue of notable Bristol people or revolving art projects.

These include a petition to replace the Colston statue with civil-rights campaigner Paul Stephenson OBE.

The Mayor confirmed that any decision on how the plinth should be used will be decided through consultation.

The members of the commission will be announced at a later date, after discussion.