Following a Bristol statue being pulled down by protesters, Banksy has proposed a new monument to make ‘everyone happy’.
On Sunday, June 7, a statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston was pulled down in Bristol during a Black Lives Matter protest.
After the statue was successfully toppled, protesters then pushed it into the water of a nearby harbour. Prior to it being pulled down, there had been petitions for the controversial statue to be removed.
The allusive street artist has recently paid tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement in a statement, saying ‘people of colour are being failed by the system. The white system… this is a white problem.’
Alongside a picture of a memorial featuring the American flag, Banksy wrote:
At first I thought I should just shut up and listen to black people about this issue. But why would I do that? It’s not their problem. It’s mine.
People of colour are being failed by the system. The white system. Like a broken pipe flooding the apartment of the people living downstairs. This faulty system is making their life a misery, but it’s not their job to fix it. They can’t – no-one will let them in the apartment upstairs.
This is a white problem. And if white people don’t fix it, someone will have to come upstairs and kick the door in.
Celebrities like Mark Ruffalo commented on the post agreeing with him. Ruffalo wrote, ‘Yep. It’s our problem. We are the ones who hold the privilege and power. Time to have the difficult conversation.’
Banksy, who is believed to be from Bristol himself, has now suggested what should take the statue’s place.
In an Instagram post to his 9.4 million followers, the street artist 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, put him back on the plinth, tie cable round his neck and commission some life size bronze statues of protestors in the act of pulling him down. Everyone happy. A famous day commemorated.
I mean, it’s not a terrible idea.
Colston, born in 1636, served as a Conservative MP for Bristol following his tenure as deputy governor of the Royal African Company. He is believed to have trafficked 84,000 African men, women and children in his time, with an estimated 19,000 dying on their journey to the Caribbean and America.