Bristol's M Shed changes online booking system after Colston statue protest

The 17th century bronze statue is currently on display at M Shed in Bristol. Credit: ITV News

The M Shed museum in Bristol has changed its online booking system after a campaign group attempted to block-book slots to prevent people visiting.

The Save Our Statues campaign, which has 24,000 Twitter followers, is unhappy at the decision not to replace the statue on its Colston Avenue plinth, and says the new display is a 'celebration of mob rule'.

The museum is now allowing, where possible, visitors to walk in without pre-booking. It says it has also altered the online system so more slots are available.

The Victorian statue of the 17th-century slave dealer Edward Colston was torn down and thrown into Bristol Harbour during a Black Lives Matter protest in June 2020.

It now forms part of an £8,000 temporary display at the M Shed museum, along with placards from the protest.

Members of the public are being asked by the We Are Bristol History Commission, which was set up following the protest, what should happen to it next.

Options include removing the statue from public view entirely, creating a museum or exhibition about the transatlantic slave trade, or restoring the statue to its plinth.

Dr Shawn Sobers, associate professor at the University of the West of England and part of the commission, said: "This display isn't trying to celebrate Colston or to try to commiserate the statue coming down, but as a museum of Bristol there's a responsibility to tell the different parts of what's happened and the history - and to try and put those moments into context."

Read More: